Breathing and chakras and mantras…Oh my!

While I’ve got a few free minutes I’ll recap my last two yoga classes. Last week, I had a male instructor and we learned breathing styles, which were amazing for relaxation. This week my class had a female instructor and we learned about chakras and mantras, which pretty much blew my mind.

Last week we learned about yoga breathing or “pranayama” (Thanks Google. I’m a beginner so forgive me if I mess up any of the terminology)  I’m glad I attended this class because I need help in that area. Yes, it may sound weird but I’m having a hard time breathing correctly during yoga. What’s more natural than breathing, right? Well, it seems my ‘natural’ is to be tense.  Taking slow, deep breathes just hasn’t been easy for me. I never realized how much focus and effort it takes to just chill out.

On the flipside, there are also breathing exercises that are designed to challenge the body by forcing breathes out and by holding breathes (i.e. breaths of fire).  Another interesting breathing exercise was holding one nostril closed and alternating what side you inhale and exhale out of aka nadi sodhana .

I was skeptical about the breathing exercises but I admit to feeling relaxed and even light-headed after. Hello, yoga buzz!

Eagle pose helped open my chest for deep breaths

Though we learned different relaxing breathing techniques, man, the class was intense.  I can’t blame it on the instructor being a male though. Maybe that’s just his style of teaching. We held poses longer and there was more repetition. The class was quiet but my body was hollering at me! We have to be taken out of our comfort zone to grow, I guess.

During this week’s class learned seated and standing twisting poses like:

^I’m a pro at this one. lol

^ Surprisingly, this wasn’t as tough as I thought it’d be.

The instructor said twisting poses are good for cleansing and went on to explain more of the spritual sides of yoga. She briefly broke down the different chakras, their elements and the colors associated with each.

I’m still learning about chakras myself but here’s a link that explains each and their significance for fellow rookies like me.

Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?

Chakras also have chants or “mantras” associated with them. The mantras help with meditation and building connections to chakras. We learned a few one word mantras that just sounded like a lot of deep humming to me at first. But it blew my mind because I actually felt vibrations in the areas connected to that chakra!  For instance, while humming “Om”, a mantra for the third eye, I felt tingling in the middle of my forehead.   Ok, did I lose you with that? I know just reading may seem kinda deep so imagine my shock when I felt it physically. This yoga journey is pretty exciting! I wonder what’s next….