How to Breathe: Pranayama (yogic breathing)

Breathing is crucial in yoga; it’s crucial for life. I recently heard someone say “Breathing is not in the past, it is not in the future, it is only in the present.” When teaching a class, I am constantly reminding the students to breathe. Your breathe allows you to stay present and focus on the move. I don’t like to say you go “deeper” but staying with your breathe helps you go “within” – less mind wandering.


I’m sure we have all heard someone say “suck it in.” Contracting our abdomen does have it’s benefits. But as a whole, we are walking around holding our breathe. This leads to stressors on our body (especially in the shoulder and lower back).


How to Inhale: Through your nose, take a deep breathe ( for a count of 4 or 5). As you fill your lungs and belly, they will expand. Your stomach will rise (“stick out”). As you inhale, raise your chest out and up towards the sky. I also like to give the cue to slightly lift the chin.

How to Exhale: Exhaling through your nose (for a count of 4 or 5),  Draw your navel in towards your spine, as if there is a vacuum suctioning your navel towards your back. Actively draw your shoulders down (visualize someone placing their hands on your shoulders helping to gently glide them down.)

Repeat this for a couple of rounds. Once you’re in a comfortable rhythm, try to to take in more air on your inhale (increase your count) or try lengthening your exhales (saying “Om” audibly or to yourself will help).





Living in Columbia, South Carolina and using this blog as my space to share a little insight into my life in what I'm making on the sewing machine, knitting needles, crochet hooks, in the kitchen, and elsewhere.

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