Yoga Vita

Musings on Yoga, Life, and the Yoga Life


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I found it difficult to breathe in yoga this morning.

It wasn’t asthma or congestion or anything like that, but rather a feeling of tightness in my ribs and abdominal muscles. I’ve never really felt that way before- – it was rather uncomfortable.

So I decided to just simply observe the sensation as I went through my practice, and I realized that I a lot of people may actually feel this particular kind of tightness much of the time. Of course I can’t be sure, because I don’t know how other people feel, but I suspect it may be true based on observations I’ve made of others’ practices when I’ve been teaching. My difficulty breathing came along with difficulty doing certain postures- – parivritta parsvaknoasana, Marichyasana D, urdhva dhanurasana, and others- – and it led to a certain heavy, restricted way of carrying myself in general. The change wasn’t necessarily obvious to an outside observer, but it was profound. I’ve noticed the same set of characteristics in other people’s practices, and I wonder how much of it is related to restricted breathing. Hmm.

At any rate, I have a renewed appreciation for breathing.


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