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Direct Breath Flow & Improve Posture

Asanas (postures) are well known for their ability to reverse our sedentary, slumped over a computer lifestyles. But, what is less well known is the critical role the breath plays in making that happen. In fact, selecting the appropriate breathing method is what makes the posture truly effective.

The health of the spine, of course, has a big impact on posture. Attention to the spine is fundamental to practicing postures and, in the Viniyoga tradition, we become aware of the spine through the breath.

Viniyoga teaches a breathing method with a directional flow called chest to belly that improves posture. Just to be sure we’re on the same page, directional flow does not refer to the movement of air. Air always goes into the lungs. Directional flow refers to control of the respiratory muscles and movement of awareness of the breath.

In chest to belly breathing, the inhale originates through the nose and travels down to the belly. As you inhale,  visualize the breath moving down the front of your body as you lift the sternum, and gradually expand the chest, rib cage, solar plexus and belly. As you inhale, observe the spine expand and extend because the spine “goes up” in this type breathing.

In this breathing method, the exhale originates with the belly contracting. Pull the pubic bone toward the navel as you contract the abdomen and visualize the breath gradually moving back up the front of the body.

To summarize, the directional flow of the breath changes the movement of the spine and it is the extension of the spine found in chest to belly breathing that reverses what happens in everyday life. It is used in asana practice as well as pranayama.

Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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