Yoga is a system of training for the body and the mind. The word yoga means “union” in the ancient Sanskrit language of India. We practice yoga to feel united. It is a union through posture, breathing and meditation.
Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise, and meditation. It helps to improve health and happiness. It helps your body get rid of stress by releasing toxins, by stretching, by getting more flexible and stronger. Practicing yoga poses and breathing exercises brings back harmony to our body and mind. Yoga is the way to exercise our bodies, our breath, and our minds all at the same time.
Yoga features different breathing exercises. Deep breathing helps to deliver oxygen to the blood. It also helps people to relax. While a person focuses on breathing, the mind becomes clearer.
Throughout the day, most of us don’t pay attention to our breathing. Actually, breathing is an automatic process that we hardly notice. However, the simple act of inhaling and exhaling can have a great impact on our mood and thoughts.
Breathing is nourishing to our bodies. When we breathe in, oxygen gives our cells the energy they need to keep us healthy. As we breathe out, we release carbon dioxide from our bodies. Breathing actually tells us that we are alive.
Taking deep, deliberate breaths can calm a person physically and mentally. When our breath is shallow and rapid, it can trigger the release of stress hormones. When our breath is slow, deep and measured, it signals our body to release hormones that are associated with feelings of calm and centered well-being.
Our thoughts are linked to our breath. Breathing on purpose can be very helpful to get back in control of any situation. Remember that your breath is always with you. Do you know that when you breathe on purpose, your mind stops thinking? For example, say your name in your mind and breathe at the same time. It is really hard to do both at the same time. Therefore, you can control what is going on in your head by changing how you breathe. When you are in control of your thoughts, you will act more calmly, will be more relaxed and happier.
If we know how to listen to our bodies, it tells us a lot. It is very sensitive that immediately reacts to tension, anxiety, fear, joy, positive or negative thoughts in our minds. Maybe you get so upset that it feels like your breath is too fast. And then, you must take a deep breathe to calm down. Think of your breath as an anchor. No matter what and where you are, you can always find your breath. It is the secure part of you that keeps your body and mind healthy.