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My mother lived for several years with lung disease.  So breathing correctly is very important to me. Yoga poses that help expand through the rib cage, back and shoulders actually help with the ability to increase lung capacity.  Creating more flexibility through the rib cage makes it easier to expand the area to get a full, deep breath.  If we are tight through our side bodies, backs, and shoulders, we tend to round our backs and hunch the shoulders forward which keeps us from being able to take a deep breath.

Try this simple breathing technique which will not only help stretch the shoulder and rib cage area, but it will also help you become more aware of your breathing.

Start by lying flat on your back.  If you have lower back issues, try putting a bolster under your knees.  Or, if you do not have a bolster, bend your knees and have your feet flat on the floor.  Have your hands on the floor, palms down, by your sides.  On an inhale, and completely filling your lungs, raise your arms up and over your head until they are resting on the floor over your head.   Now on an exhalation, and completely emptying your lungs, raise your arms up and over your head and bring them back to the floor, palms down, by your sides.  Try repeating this 3 to 5 times.

This should be very soothing as you are going with your own breath pattern.  Rest a moment after completing this and become aware of the sensations in your body before moving on.

Here’s to better breathing and until next time …… Namaste

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To me YOGA is:

Lake Lanier at low tide 2007 079When I started yoga classes I  thought I would simply be working on stretching. I now realize that a good yoga session incorporates balance, coordination, endurance, flexibility, and strength.   Through years of continued yoga practice, I have begun to realize that yoga offers so much more than that.

The balance in yoga is not just the ability to balance on one leg or the other, but also balancing all the different aspects of our busy lives.

The coordination in yoga is not just the ability to work on a very difficult asana (or posture) with ease, but also the ability to coordinate the many tasks presented to us on any given day.

The endurance in yoga is not just about holding an asana for a great length of time, but also enduring life’s challenges with ease and grace.

The flexibility of yoga is not just about the flexibility of our joints and limbs, but also the flexibility of opening our hearts and minds to new thoughts and ideas.

The strength of yoga is not just about strengthening our muscles, but also having the strength to face life’s challenges when faced with them.

I hope you will check back often to learn about more of the many wonderful aspects of yoga for your life!

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