Pranayama Deep Breathing
Tips on Pranayama Deep Breathing
Especially when we are new to this practice, pranayama feels weird, loud and like a very difficult dance you don't know the steps to. There are arms moving, loud breathing noises and you need to relax your head back which for a lot of people is a little bit scary. It won't take long before it feels familiar and you can turn your thoughts to your form.
The Spotlight Effect
We all have a tendency toward a cognitive bias called the spotlight effect. It's the belief that we are more obvious or noticeable to others than we actually are. This can come into play as we feel self conscious about moving in a way that we aren't familiar with and the thought that others are watching us and our ineptitude. They aren't. So let yourself go and embrace the breathing knowing that most likely everyone else is thinking that they are the ones everyone is looking at.
Engage your Core.
Not just your stomach, tighten everything up and engage your core. Lengthen your tailbone down. Lift the arches of your feet. so you aren't pronating or leaning in. Focus on the transverse abdominals, the low abs. By all means use your six pack, but also engage the transverse abs and keep them in tight the whole time. Squeeze your glutes tight, contract your quads especially the inner thighs.
Foot placement in Pranayama Breathing
If your anatomy works like this then great. For a lot of people a small gap between your heels might be more appropriate. If you have bunions or other joint misalignment you might need to open your feet more. Read more about this on my blog post. Whatever your placement make sure you keep your body weight in your heels and try not to lift or wriggle your toes.
Relax. Move slowly.
While you want your legs, hips, glutes, abdominals and even your feet contracted you do want to relax your neck, your shoulders and jaw. People typically breathe between 12 and 20 breaths per minute. In pranayama we slow that to 5 breaths per minute. Slowing your breath is good for you.
How the Archer hot yoga towel can help your Pranayama Deep Breathing.
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