Breath and bandhas: aliveness and sustanaibility

 ©Jacob Donaghy-Sutton

©Jacob Donaghy-Sutton

When preparing for my lecture on breath and bandhas on the Spain yoga teacher training, I wanted to illustrate “alive” versus “lifeless.”
Picture a dancer raising her arm and lowering it down, or standing then spiraling down to the ground – while holding her breath.
Then picture the same dancer, taking a deep inhale that initiates the graceful lifting of an arm, and exhaling to spiral down all the way to the floor.
Which image reflects more aliveness, more life energy for you?
Breath is life. While we can live without water or food for a couple of days, we cannot go without breathing for more than a few seconds. Okay, you may be able to hold your breath for up to 10 minutes if you are a pro free diver.
Yet, most of us fail to breathe properly. We tend to use only our chest space, resulting in shallow breathing; and most of us unconsciously hold our breath when stressed. This may result in more physical and emotional tension, which tends to add up.
Once we learn to use a fuller capacity of our body space and expand the breath, we not only create space for physical release to happen, but we also open up the mind.
Ultimately, creating space in the mind is one of the purposes of yoga practice.
Similary, when we consciously start using our bandhas or energy keys to direct our energy, we can develop a more sustainable and safe practice.
How many times have you heard moola bandha and uddiyana bandha being called out in a yoga class? While you may understand that the former one, the root energy key serves protection and an upward movement of energy, you may not necessarily know how to engage it.
During yoga classes, I also like to emphasize space creation and lengthening through uddiyana bandha, but there is so much more to it!
To sum up, I am more than excited to finally dedicate a two-part workshop to go into detail about breath and bandhas, practical tips to embody them; as well as break down foundational yoga poses and sun salutations.
The workshop will take place on Saturday, 30 November, from 10-12:30 and 14-16:00 with a break, and is suitable both for beginners and existing practitioners.
To participate, please sign up through the booking page and pay the workshop fee. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.