Continuing our Bikram Yoga A to Z guide…
B for Breath:
A critical part of yoga practice is becoming mindful of things that we take for granted. And nothing is more fundamental – and more likely to be overlooked in our daily life – than breath. The first thing we do when we’re born is take a breath so we can bawl out the news of our arrival. From that moment forward the simple, profound act of inhalation and exhalation is our link to the phsyical world.
It is appropriate, then, that in Bikram yoga we begin every class with pranayama deep breathing. We connect mindfully to our breath, consciously engaging with the process of drawing oxygenated air into our lungs and expelling carbon dioxide. Breath energises our body and awakens our mind.
Through the entire 90 minutes of yoga postures we remain focused on the breath. It is the elemental connection between and within every pose, our link between mind, body and environment. The breath is what we return to in savasana and we learn to control our breath to gain greater strength and focus.
For 99.5% of our lives we breathe without thinking about it. Bikram yoga gives us a chance to bring awareness and gratitude to this basic physical act. Take the opportunity. If you find yourself struggling with a posture, always return to the breath. Let it guide you.