Published: Saturday 22 April 2017

Understanding many of the principles of yoga that adults practice are important in baby yoga, including breathing. We look at this as part of our baby yoga instructor course, and here's an overview to start you off.

The breath in yoga is seen as the vital source or 'Prana'. The body requires oxygen in various levels dependent on the things we are doing, for example if we are increasing our level of exercise then more energy is required. With increased exercise the respiratory rate increases and brings in more oxygen for energy and brain function. The opposite happens with relaxation as the need for oxygen is less and therefore breathing is slower and deeper.

With yoga type exercise, breath and brain concentration are combined. During asanas and poses concentration is focused on the breath. The control of breathing shifts from brain stem / medulla oblongata to cerebral cortex (evolved part of brain). The thoughts and emotions are by-passed and mind can experience focus, and calm awareness.

The emotional stress and random/ ad hoc thoughts are removed (although may pop up initially!). Emotions can create tension in muscles, stiffness and blockages to the flow of prana. Awareness of the breath helps manage emotional disturbances and makes the prana or energy free flowing.

Also if the breath is focused on making movements it can help in controlling the movements. This in turn can help reduce the risk of injury. The muscles work in a systematic way with greater coordination with the nervous system. Neuro-muscular coordination is better.

Yoga recommends smooth, relaxed awareness of inhalation and exhalation during the practice. The mind is focused and the awareness can be concentrated on the positive thoughts.

Breathing forms an integral part of baby yoga sessions, and is part of our Certificate in Teaching Baby Yoga course. We'll be looking at different breathing techniques in a series of articles over the next few weeks. If you'd like to learn to teach baby yoga, we have open courses coming up in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle and Glasgow as well as a distance learning option.


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