Introduction to Yoga: Session 1 January 17, 2019
Please help yourself to the resources that serve you best. This information is completely optional, and intended to support those students in the Introduction to Yoga program offered through the City of Surrey at Standford Hall, Kwomais Point Park, in Ocean Park. This information may also be useful for any practitioner interested in the ‘basics’ of beginning a yoga practice. I also refer to this as a class for beginners, and re-beginners.
Presiding Quote: “Ships are safest in the harbour, but that’s not what ships are for” (John A. Shedd)
Topics covered in Session 1:
Constructive Rest & the Psoas
The Resourceful Breath
I refer to ‘diaphramatic breathing’ as The Resourceful Breath to indicate the benefits inherent in the practice of breathing with intention, breathing fully and deeply. This breath is sumptuous during constructive rest, and resourceful throughout the entire practice because it creates internal structure.
The practice goes like this:
1) Sit or lay with a lengthened spine. Allow for flexibility and movement, so that your spine is not stiff, but is elogated through intention and micro adjustments. Laying on the floor uses gravity to naturally align the spine.
2) Release any tension in the cervical spine (neck). Allow the head to float (if sitting) or rest comfortably (if supine).
3) Breathe in through the nose, allowing the breath to expand the torso, to swell the belly. The biomechanics of this action are the lowering of the diaphram, which increases pressure on the belly towards distention, and allows the lungs to fill fully.
4) Exhale through the nose or mouth, which ever feels more native to your own body. As you exhale, slowly and mindfully, gently draw the belly button back and towards the spine. This creates internal support and tones the functional muscles of the breath.
5) Keep breathing, slowly and mindfully, expanding on the inhale, and emptying on the exhale. Fine a rhythm that serves relaxation, so that you are not forcing the breath. It takes practice, but with practice will bring greater ease, and increasing benefits.
I suggest this breath as it is fairly easy to remember, and supports the exertion phase of each asana.