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Teaching students about breathing is an important part of yoga instruction. Because the body opens when you inhale and contracts when you exhale, how you breathe as you enter, hold, and exit a pose contributes to how deeply you can work in the posture.
A yoga student and yoga instructor should understand that the body moves in four directions: Forward bends (flexion), backward bends (extension), sideways bends (lateral extension) and twists (rotation).
Be aware of these breathing tips for four natural motions as you learn yoga or as you explain poses as part of yoga teacher training:
-Inhale when moving into back bends.
-Exhale when moving into forward bends.
-Exhale when moving into side bends.
-Exhale when moving into twists.
Regulated breathing helps to invigorate the body during asanas, and it can help prepare the mind for meditation at the end of a class.
Some yoga instructors encourage students to practice ujjayi pranayama, or “victorious breath,” during a class. This technique involves breathing deeply and evenly through the upper nasal passages. Your mouth should be closed, but you should be able to hear your breath. A useful yoga instruction tip is to tell students that they should sound like Darth Vader.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|