Indra Devi Speaks: Excerpts from Yoga For Americans
Breathing is something that, normally, our bodies do on their own. In yoga, we try to take control of the breath and breathe consciously. It’s not always easy. Here are two really simple, awesome breathing exercises from our lady Devi.
First Breathing Exercise
Lie down flat on your back and place your feet up on the wall as high as possible; stretch the arms out above your head keeping the elbows straight. Now do deep breathing while remaining in this position. Start with four deep breaths, then gradually increase the number. You may do this exercise even while lying in bed. Incidentally, people suffering from asthma will benefit greatly from this breathing exercise.
Second Breathing Exercise
Stand straight, feet together, hands at your sides, keeping the spine very erect. Cross the right foot over the left one, keeping the toes on the floor, but the heel off, and the back part of the fright knee on top of the left knee cap. Don’t straighten the knees and don’t move the body to the left – it is important that it remain with the spine centered. Now take a deep breath. While exhaling, bend forward until the fingertips touch the floor or come as near to touching as you can manage. Return to standing position and take a deep breath.
Do this exercise three times, then reverse the legs and feet and repeat. When bending forward, be sure not to move the buttocks or shoulders. The bending should be done by the spine alone, starting from above the waistline.
IF done correctly, this exercise removes the “morning” backache. People suffering from sacroiliac troubles should do this exercise twice a day to get relief.