Another Way To Find Your Breath

Dave showing yoga instructors simple seated breathing exercises

This spring, Dave toured the west coast, and made a stop at Loyola Marymount University. One of the great things about yoga is that it can be adapted in a multitude of ways so a wide range of physical needs may be accommodated.

So here he is with a group seated in chairs. The exercise is a simple one, but helps individuals work as a group to focus on that all important thing –their breathe.

Try this:  Sit in a chair, scoot up until your feet can touch the floor. Take a minute to feel your toes touching the floor, feeling the surface. Then move your focus up your legs, until you become aware of your sit bones making contact with the chair. If you can, straighten your spine. Then very gently inhale, taking a deep breath, filling your chest, letting your shoulder blades slip down and exhale. Next, add your arms. Lift them as you inhale, bringing them up. If you want, you can even look up at the ceiling or the sky. Just make sure you don’t strain any part of your body. Exhale. Repeat, each time seeing if you can hold it a little longer.  If you do this with a group, you can take turns leading the pace.

Breathing helps lower the heart rate, relax the muscles, calms the mind. Try this exercise when you get up in the morning. Or anywhere and anytime you happen to be seated. Even in a busy airport!

About Kanani Fong

Kanani Fong is the writer and outreach coordinator for the War Photographers’ Retreat. A long time writer, Kanani has written and coordinated for many events for non profit organizations. In addition, she was the military outreach coordinator on the war documentary, RESTREPO, and wrote for PBS’ Regarding War. She can also be found on her military blog, The Kitchen Dispatch.