A simple understanding of it.

A regular and a peaceful monday evening.

Preparing for the class while distributing Mantra sheet to be chanted before the class began.

The Mantra chanted at the start of the class sets up the intention for the class.

While distributing the sheet to some new students took the sheet and probably looked at them for the first time. A normal happening in the class but in this normal activity there was something happening that had bearing on her Health and Well being.

While taking the sheet and reading a  common habit of ours is discovered. As the students look at the sheet they were also found to be holding the breath as they examined with the sheet with anticipation as to what to do with the sheet.

Breath Holding habit is very common among us and it is the major cause of upper back and neck tension, tightness in our shoulders, high levels of mental stress, insomnia and headaches.

What happens is that when the breath is held occassionally and long period of times. Our Sympathetic Nervous system gets active and keeps  us in an Alert state. In this alert state the Nervous system is in a constant state of alert and tension.

If this state is a regular occcurance in our Nervous system, it becomes us to it and we begin to feel that we are not is a state of stress but on the contrary we are in a state of stress continously.

This works in two ways as our stress increases our episodes of breath holding and breathing fast increases and as our breath holding pattern and fast breathing increases our stress levels and the agitation of the nervous system also increases.

This state of our nervous system has its effects on the mind and body which feels this state as anxiety and restless state of body and mind.

This state of body and mind forms the growing ground for Psychosomatic Illnesses.

Psychosomatic illnesses means illnesse whose root cause is in the mind.

The good part here being once we know the root cause of an illness we can address the illness at the source of its happening which means there is a solution of all kind of illnesses.

So as we can see the breath holding is a very common phenomena but the effects are far reaching and with a little change in our habit of breathing we can prevent or lower the possibility  for a Psychosomatic illness occuring inside of us.

In a Yoga class there are many times which have high possibility of Holding the breath.

The following are the various situations i which holding the breath can happen

1) While attending your first few classes when student focus strongly to understand the pose at the same time trying hard to do it.

WHAT TO DO : Do one thing at a time firstly try to understand the pose and do not try too hard to achieve the pose.

2) Moving into the pose quiclky and coming out it quickly

WHAT TO DO: Move slowly into the pose and move out of the pose also slowly with awareness.

3) While doing a pose comparing ourselves with other students inside the class and trying to do our best.

What TO DO: Refrain from comparing yourself with others and relax as you practice. You cannot change yourself in one day a gradual way to progress is a safe way to progress.

4) While practcing paying too much attention on the physical body.

WHAT TO DO:  Yoga is a practice in which body and breath both are equally important. Start paying attention to the way you breathe while practicing.

The above are a few times that occur in every class where there is a chnace for a student to hold the breath.

Be mindful of these situations and when they occur let your awareness guide you to form a new pattern of breathing during the times you would have held the breath.

A Yoga class is a great place where we take stock of the conditions of our physical body and our breathing habits. Once we have discovered it we work gently but persistently to replacing it with Healthy Pattern of Breathing which is devoid of our habit of Holding our Breaths

Happy Practicing.