Breathe Well: An Introduction
"Imagine owning the most high specification TV in existence, keeping it plugged in on standby and then living with it for years and years without ever actually turning it on. Sadly most of us live in 'standby mode' most of the time." - Alan Dolan, Breathguru.com
Anyone who has attended a class at Camyoga will be aware of the importance of breathing well - it's a concept which is common to all styles of yoga. The term we use to describe breath control - pranayama - translates literally as "life force extension". I think you'll agree that's no small claim!
The power of the breath, however, should not be underestimated. The simple act of infusing our bodies with oxygen has the ability to transform the way we think, feel and even live. Think about the last time you were nervous, or excited, or worried - did you hold your breath? We often use this mechanism to prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by such powerful feelings. However by restricting our breath in such a way we are actually hindering the very system which has the potential to calm the fluctuations of our minds. When holding our breath in this way becomes habitual, which it often does, we can be more prone to physical illness and mental disturbances such as feeling upset or anxious.
We all know how relaxed we feel after class. It's important to remember that asana alone will not create this sensation of ease - integrating mind, breath and body is the key to unleashing all that yoga has to offer. Here's a short video about the possibilities unleashed by transformational breathing from the world's leading Breath therapist, Alan Dolan: