Lesson time 13:38 min
Donna teaches the importance of proper breath and shares exercises to help students breathe more effectively.
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars
Topics include: Breathe Better
[RELAXING MUSIC] - One of the key ways that yoga helps to regulate stress is the emphasis on breathing. The first thing that changes when we have a stress response is our breathing changes. It's almost impossible to stay calm if you're breathing very quickly. So just by regulating the breath, decelerating the breath, there's a profound effect. And the key is this balancing of the nervous system, of coming back to the support of our parasympathetic nervous system, which is about rest, repair, renewal. I like to start every practice with a focus on breath because if our breath is not centered, we will not be centered. So it is important that you bring your attention to how you are breathing. Throughout this class, I'll be working with models to demonstrate many of the poses. And my first model is Neal . Do consider that these practices are being done by trained professionals in a controlled environment. And you would want to consider any condition that you have, preexisting condition, and do or not do accordingly. Before we began the practice, it's good to get a baseline to know, how was I breathing before I started this practice? So Neal is going to, without trying to make his breath change in any way, observe his breathing over the next minute and count the number of breaths in a minute. I invite you to count your breaths along with Neal. So one breath for clarity is one inhalation and one exhalation. Beginning the count now. Now as you do this practice at home, you might be tempted to try and alter your breath, to try and make it longer or deeper. So see if you can just be as you are, as your breath feels most comfortable to you. Over a minute. I'm very curious how many breaths per minute Neal will be taking. It's normal for most people-- women tend to breathe a little faster than men-- about 14 to 16 breaths per minute. So Neal, ending your count. What was your breath per minute count? - 10. - 10? Okay. Yeah, well, Neal's been doing yoga for a long time, so you're not breathing quite as quickly as most people. But let's just see if that changes as we go through several cycles. Ideally, we're breathing in and out through our nose throughout the day. But you may be coming into this practice with a lifelong habit of chest breathing. So that's a kind of breathing where we're overusing the secondary respiratory muscles high up in the chest, above the collarbones, in the neck, in the throat, and in the front of the chest. And when we go to work on this, we may need to go to the other end of the continuum. And first of all, learn how to allow the breath to descend into the abdomen. So today, we'll be working with abdominal breathing first. So for this practice, Neal is going to shift into lying down, lying on the floor with the knees bent. And most people need a little something underneath the neck and head for comfort. And then as a reference point, Neal will bring his hand...
About the Instructor
With nearly 40 years of experience, Donna Farhi is one of the most sought-after yoga instructors in the world. Now the “teacher of teachers” is sharing her approach to creating a safe, sustainable yoga practice with students of all levels. Whether you’re looking to realign with the heart of traditional yoga or are just getting started, learn postures, foundations, and philosophies to guide you on your journey.
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