Welcome to Yoga Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 2

Simple Breath Awareness

10 min - Practice


Margi guides us in a simple breathing practice to help us tune into our breath and body. You will feel more calm, centered, and in touch with the magic of your breath.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket

About This Video

Jun 21, 2016
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Read Full Transcript

Hi, this is a practice about breath. And breath is the most important part of the yoga practice because when life starts to feel like a tornado, when life feels challenging, it's the breath that you can secretly tap in to. It would be odd to jump in to triangle pose or a handstand in the middle of a challenging conversation with your boss. But just taking a few simple breaths can ground you and anchor you at any moment. So we'll start the practice lying down.

As a way of tapping in, it's a little easier to find lying down. I'm gonna suggest that you have a prop for underneath your knees. I'm going to use a bolster. And a folded blanket under your head. It doesn't have to be fancy yoga props, you can use a pillow from your bed and a blanket from the couch.

And you lie down. The neck and the head supported and the backs of the knees supported. And rest your hands on to your belly. Close your eyes. Just take a few moments first to draw in to yourself.

To feel the weight of your body dropping in to the support of the props and the ground. And give yourself these few minutes to just be still. When you still your outer body, you may begin to notice the automatic breath coming in and out. So delightful that we don't need to think about our breath happening, it happens on its own. And with your hands resting on your belly, just notice the rise and the fall of the abdomen with the breath.

And then let your hands come up a little higher to where your diaphragm is, it's at the bottom of your rib cage. And take a few moments here to watch the expansion on the inhalation, and the softening and the deflating on the exhalation. A widening and opening as you breathe in, and a softening and a releasing as you breathe out. Let your hands come now up to the upper part of your chest up near the collar bones. Your two lungs are actually up here in the upper part of the chest and the tops of the lungs tuck underneath the collar bones.

So as you take slightly deeper breaths now, feel the pink lungs expanding with the inhalation, opening, fluffing up. And as you exhale, the lungs soften, release, and deflate. Could imagine like two balloons blowing up as you pull air in to your body. And then releasing and the balloons would shrink again. Pull your attention right in to this upper region of the chest.

Pulling the breath in to the upper lobes of the lungs. And after you finish your next exhalation, place your has wherever they're most comfortable. If you'd prefer to open them out to the sides, that's fine too. Or they can stay resting on your body. And begin to take the breath in to those three parts of the body.

So start with an exhalation and then as you inhale, breathe in to the belly, the middle lungs, and then the upper lungs. Pause at the top. And then exhale upper, middle, lower. And pause at the bottom. And then just take a few unconditioned breaths, letting your body once again breathe as it wishes.

And then we'll go again. Exhale completely. Inhale, lower, middle, upper. Pause at the top. Exhale, upper, middle, lower.

Pause at the bottom. And now just keep going on your own a few cycles. If it starts to feel at all scary or stressful, let it go and go back to regular breaths. Your pranayama, or breath work, should be easy and free. And as you breathe in, you can feel the breath kinda like a wave rolling up in to the shore of the chest.

When you exhale, like the wave, rolls back and down in to the ocean of the belly. The inhale, the wave, picks up in the belly and rolls over the chest. As you exhale, the chest releases, softens, and rolls back in to the abdomen. Another minute or two just observing your own breath. Letting your attention rest on the sensations of breath.

Being mindful about the pauses at the bottom of the exhalation and at the top of the inhalation. Resting in the stillness of those pauses. After your next exhalation, let your breath return to a regular breath, a natural breath. The body deciding how it wishes to breathe. And after a breathing practice or a shavasana, a resting practice, it's important to come out with awareness and ease.

So let your knees bend, the feet can on to your bolster, and pause there for a moment. And then bring your right arm up so you can roll over to your right side and rest your head on to your right arm. And then to come out without straining the brain or the heart, roll a little bit more towards your belly. Push in to your left hand, then your right hand. Let your head make its way up.

And come to find your seated position, probably sitting up on a prop. So let your eyes close. Now sitting vertically, just take a few breaths, again watching the breath go from bottom to top. Pausing at the top. And then from top to bottom.

Pausing at the bottom. Join your hands in front of your heart. And since you've taken the time to do this practice today, I invite you to make sure that you remember the practice when you need it. When all of a sudden you feel a surge of panic come over you at work or any time when life gets a little rocky, remember to find your breath. Thank you for joining me, namaste.


Kate C
Absolutely lovely and one I'll return to again. Thank you!
Margi Young
Thank you so much! I think this work could change the world. Wouldn't that be nice...
Eleanor M
That was fab 💫❤️
Michann T
Margi, I got into yoga after taking a fundamental series with you at OM oh-so-long-ago. It’s been awhile since I had a regular practice, so I thought it was kismet that I landed on *your* series here after a brief poke around. Thank you for helping me remember what I love and miss about yoga xo. Hope you are well!
Margi Young
Michann Hi! I feel like I remember you and was very touched by this message. So glad to connect and hope to in person at some point in the near future.

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