— BREATHE —
I have now been teaching both public and private yoga classes in Edmonton, Alberta for over 3 years after receiving my 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training from Bliss YogaSpa in Edmonton. When I teach a yoga class, whether it is a power flow class or a gentle Hatha class, I maintain one invariable practice as.a teacher: to ensure that each of my students truly engages the breath throughout the practice.
Why is the breath so important - in fact, vital - to the practice of yoga? The answer is simple. The breath - our prana to use the Sanskrit word which means “life force energy” - is the bridge between the body and the mind.
Over time, in my own yoga practice, I discovered that the focus on breath work or pranayama (in Sanskrit) is more important than the actual posture (or asana in Sanskrit) itself. That is to say, most practitioners over time are able to “hit” the physical posture in a yoga class, but from there the actual experience of the posture begins through an awareness of the breath. For example, is the breath light or heavy or even in the pose? We harness our prana in each of the poses to achieve an energetic balance in the body and the mind.
For this reason, I place a particular emphasis at the beginning and end of each of my classes on guiding students through a visual meditation so that the focus begins and ends with one simple question: How am I breathing in this exact moment?
My teacher once said to me: “The deeper the breathe, the deeper your practice.”
I continue to abide by this principle, and aspire to share it with each and every student I have the privilege of teaching in my class.
I wish you abundant light, peace and happiness, always.