The full-hour breathing practice starts with very gentle, accessible movement to ready the body for deep breathing practice. Movement is followed by breath observation, mindful breathing, and relaxing breathing. The class concludes with a guided meditation on the breath that is designed to spread a sense of calm throughout your body, mind, and nervous system.
Equal breathing utilizes the physical and mental feedback to slow and deepen the breath and to find balance between the inhalation and the exhalation. This breath tends to slow and deepen the breath. It works with the reality that the exhalation is calming for the nervous system and moves you into a space of being ready to rest, to connect, to be calm. This way of breathing in stimulates receptors along your airway that signal the need for breathing out, inducing relaxation along the way. It also increases sensitivity to arterial pressure and can help regulate blood pressure.
Enjoy this guided breath work lying on your back, seated upright, or resting in a restorative yoga pose. Use as many props as needed to invite ease and comfort into the body.
These breathing practice explore four-part yogic breathing, drawing discerning attention to the inhalation, the top of the breath, the exhalation, and the bottom of the breath. Awareness of the gaps in the breath at the top and bottom increases our capacity to delay the time between stimulus and response. The longer of the two practice options also includes a gentle focus on honing a mind state of concentration.
Click here for the YouTube link for Option 1. This breathing practice is 15 minutes long.
Click here for the YouTube link for Option 2. This practice option is 12 minutes long.
Breathing with Retention at the Bottom of the Breathcycle
Short yoga breathing practice with Chris
Launched from establishing equal breathing first, breath retention (a brief holding in or out of the breath) is a way of creating opportunities for awareness of our emotional responses to our life circumstances. Slow equal breathing calms the nervous system by stimulating the vagus nerve, which in turn calms the heart rate, balances blood pressure, and relaxes muscles.
When breath retention at the end of the exhalation is introduced in this moment of calmness and clarity, it opens doors into our emotional awareness and supports the development of resilience. We recognize our own ability to stay calm under seemingly adverse circumstances and to respond creatively and adaptively to challenge. Breath retention thus becomes a way of stress inoculation – preparing us for challenge and allowing us to be responsive, not reactive, when it arises.
In this breathing practice, you learn to make an ocean-like sound with the breath by constricting or toning the area around the glottis, the back of the throat (creating sensation in the same area of the throat that constricts when gargle or cough). This breathing practice slows the rate of the breath, making the breath longer. This leads to better gas exchange in the lungs, oxygenating regions of the lungs that are often neglected in faster, shallower breathing. This breath also massages the vagus nerve which has a calming effect on the nervous system.
This breathing practice balances the breath to bring us into a resilient and harmonious state of mind, body, and emotion. Breathing alternatingly through the right and left nostrils, this breath balances the right and left hemisphere of the brain, our cooling and warming energies in the body, our capacity to become still and to activate in times of challenge, our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, and our passive versus active tendencies. This breath has been shown to normalize blood pressure, enhance respiration, and improve our metabolism.
Enjoy this guided breath work sitting in a comfortable seat or resting in a restorative yoga pose. Use as many props as needed to invite ease and comfort into the body.
This breathing practice introduces you to a basic yogic breathing technique that will leave you feeling grounded, yet refreshed. It explores how the breath moves into and out of the body, refreshing your energy and grounding your nervous system. It connects you to the rhythm of your breath anywhere and anytime.
This breathing practice combines breath with movement to create a sense of joy. The breathing pattern consists of three short bursts of inhalation followed by a forceful exhalation. The practice cultivates a sense of vibrancy and well-being. It help get us in touch with the sense of joy that is already resident within us.
This breathing practice combines breath with movement to create a sense of connection to yourself and your community. In this breathing practice, six sequenced movements repeat as many times as your time and circumstances allow. You can practice this breath in community in a synchronized fashion or by yourself to connect yourself to something greater.