Yoga Breath for Every Body
It’s that simple. Every type of body is capable of practicing yoga. Young, old, female, male, rotund, medium build, stick thin, in a wheel chair–all can do yoga. If you can breathe through your nose, that is the first part and a very important aspect of yoga. Being able to breathe deeply, from the diaphragm, to the rib expansion, to the lungs that are hopefully unscarred by smoking or pollution. Taking deep inhales is what matters because it is the first thing we do when we are born; the exhale is the last thing we do as we die. Make all the breaths in between special and everlasting.
Cigarette and cannabis smokers perform a type of yogic breathing I call retention breath. One inhales through the nose for a certain count, say 5; they hold (retain) that inhale for the same count of 5; then they exhale for a count of 7 or longer, holding the exhale for the same count of 7. Think about it–when a person sucks on their cigarette, they inhale deeply into the lungs, often holding it in, relishing the flavor, and slowly allowing the smoke to gradually escape from the mouth and nose. Just imagine if that same smoker were to throw away the cigarettes and replace the addiction with yogic breathing instead. Oh, the health of it all!
There are more ways to breathe in yoga, such as an equal ratio breath. Breathe into the nose for a count of say 6 or 7; release that breath, also through the nose, for the same count of 6 or 7; repeat. The counting can help you concentrate and create a rhythmic flow to your breath allowing deeper and better inhales and exhales.
What’s the point you ask? To encourage people to learn these types of breathing and help get them through hectic days at work, stressful times in their lives, and the ups and downs of living on planet earth. Oh health yah!