• Samantha Hale

Yoga, Meditation & The Power of Breath

Updated: Apr 23

This weekend marks the second month of my 200 hr YTT with Laura Green Yoga and due to Coronavirus we completed most of Module 2 via the wonder that is Zoom. I've enjoyed TWO 75 minute Yoga flows with Meditation and depend my knowledge of the anatomy of the body. Specifically the bones and the lungs



Yesterday's Yoga flow was definitely not my comfort zone, nor was it to my enjoyment either. We followed a Hatha style of Yoga, which focuses primarily on the Asana's, or poses. Now for a beginner, this style is actually very useful because it is super informative and allows you to really understand what you're trying to get your body to do. It doesn't flow like a Vinyasa style of Yoga does though, and Vinyasa is definitely my comfort zone, my happy place. A lovely friend of mine teaches Hatha and has started teaching live classes via Zoom and her website, The Real Yoga Club. I do want to try but it's hard when your first taste of something isn't quite what you expected and you weren't too sure if you liked it enough to give it another go. That being said even the same style of Yoga can taste different with different teachers so I think I'll check out a live class next week. It's good to get a feel for all different styles of teaching when you are training because it allows you to see how you wish to teach and what your style and groove will be like


I'll be honest I find the Anatomy stuff very easy. I taught it for 6 years when I was teaching beauty Therapy and I'd say we don't work quite as deep with Yoga since the requirement of knowledge is different but it still nice to recap and remind myself of things once forgotten. The breath however, is one area that surprisingly we don't cover in great depth in Beauty Therapy training (or we never did, anyway), and so to talk about the Anatomy of Breath and how the lungs work in detail is definitely feeding into my need to learn. We even have an entire book on our recommended reading list purely dedicated to "The Science of Breath". It's super interesting if indeed you find learning about the human body interesting like I do


Did you know:

One day can be equal to us taking around 20, 000 breaths

This equates to roughly 7.3 million breaths in a year

An average person will take 500 million breaths in a lifetime


I find that utterly fascinating! Furthermore, there is a belief, or a myth in Yoga that each person is allocated a set number of breaths in their lifetime. However, the rate at which those breaths are used is not pre-determined



In Chinese Philosophy the lungs are associated with emotions such as grief, anxiety and shock. Now this is something I learnt in my Chinese Philosophy classes during my HND, but if I think about it for a moment you can see where the connection comes into play:


When we're surprised we usually take a sharp inhale of breath

When we cry and especially if we sob, we sometimes can't catch our breath


The breathing becomes much more shallow right? Now think further, have you ever smoked in your life? When did you first try a cigarette? For me it was when I was in my first year of high school, so about 11 years old (how young!). But why s this relevant to our emotions? Well if the lungs truly are connected to our emotions, when do we first start to experience emotions bubbling to the surface in a way that they never did before? Oh that's right, around 11 or 12 years old; and so smoking will dull down those emotions


I find it so interesting that our mind, body and emotions can be so intricately linked like that



I think I most enjoyed learning about Meditation though, in particular "Osho Meditation", which is Conscious Emotional Release through 5 steps:


Breathing - Usually Ujji breath (you might know this as "Darth Vader breath"

Chaotic Movement - Moving with no purpose

Hoo Phase - Jumping around and cleansing the body using the abdominal muscles

Stillness

Fluid Movement - Enjoying the natural flow of your body's movement


I genuinely love Meditation. I relish in it every morning; sometimes I'll do it whilst enjoying a cuppa, other times I'll do it for a whole 30 minutes lying on the floor snuggled up in a blanket. I rarely do it cross-legged with my hands on my knees. I just don't find it comfortable. I get pins and needles, my legs go dead and then I'm just really uncomfortable


People seem to think that Meditation has to be done a certain way and the goal is to clear your mind of all thoughts. But that's absolute rubbish! Meditation is different things to different people. Also, have you ever tried to think of nothing? It's actually impossible. For me Meditation is my morning ritual to have a chat with myself; how am I feeling? How do I want to feel? What's been playing on my mind lately and why? Am I happy? In-between all of this random thoughts come and I acknowledge them, then let them go because in that moment I have no need for them. Sometimes it's super easy to let them go and other times I'll be halfway into that thought and then I realise I need to let it go. It can take a little longer to get back to my conversation with myself. Sometimes, I really do manage to switch off on some level and I almost feel like I'm heading back to sleep but then I come round and I feel totally revived and ready to take on whatever the day has in store for me


Just like a good workout, I have never regretted Meditation. Our teacher today gave us this lovely quote about what Meditation is to her...


"Meditation is a journey to a internal world of peace and reality. I should also mention that it can sometimes be a journey of frustration" - Lauren Grey


I really loved that because it completely removes the need for perfection. It eliminates judgement and allows for an imperfect experience, which is precisely what it should be. I particularly love the quote below:


"Meditation dissolves invisible walls that unawareness has built" ~ Sadghuru


I think that's a really beautiful and poetic way to explain or view Meditation


Since before I eve began this course I knew I wanted to share what I was learning and I never thought I'd do it via a blog. It was always a blog in my mind but now I think I see the benefits of both and so I've created a YouTube channel so that I can share, both here on the blog and in videos, everything I learn on this new journey of mine from Yoga, breathwork and Meditation to POP, mindfulness and PIIT28


After being a Beauty Therapist for the last 22 years I am so ready to embrace this new path. Learning is one of my favourite things to do and I especially love that I’m learning something which will complement the knowledge and experience that I already have


Stay Well

Samantha

xoxo

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Hampshire, UK

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