Getting Started – Breathing

tao-yoga_20090401_106-crop-flipStudents beginning with Longevity Breathing Yoga often ask about working with their breathing. The breath is central in LB Yoga as well as other arts we teach at Brookline Tai Chi.

Initially, it is helpful to simply notice your breathing, whether it’s happening, how it’s happening. In learning LB Yoga, we first get familiar with the poses. At the same time we are getting familiar with feeling inside the body and noticing how breathing is happening (or not happening) for us individually, without actively trying to change anything. It’s important to spend some time with this first phase before moving on, especially as a beginner. It will help your practice in the long run if you start with learning very clearly to feel your insides and breath, to be able to feel what’s really happening inside.

As we progress in class, we pay closer attention to feeling breath in specific areas of the body. After you feel that you can keep a steady feeling awareness in your body and breath, you may want to move on to understanding breathing in greater depth. Longevity Breathing will be most helpful in this phase, as it is a perfect compliment to Longevity Breathing Yoga practice. Longevity Breathing is a technique developed by Bruce Frantzis and is detailed in two resources – one, in the book Opening The Energy Gates of Your Body (Chapter 5), and the other, the DVD entitled Longevity Breathing (also available through the school). Both take you through a step-by-step process that teaches you how to breath fully, deeply and effectively in your whole body.