A runner breathing in mountain air

Breathe more fully… run further, and live longer!

Breathing may well be a part of our autonomic nervous system, meaning we do it without conscious direction – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t consider the way that we breathe. In fact, just by taking your attention to your breath for a few minutes (or even a few breaths), will slow and deepen your breathing. When this happens, we not only take in more oxygen to fuel the body, but we also feel calmer, more relaxed and focused. This is because when we breathe fully, we access the parasympathetic nervous system, the place where we feel relaxed and happy!

We spend a lot of time here at Run Better, teaching the physical aspect of yoga – but that is only one part of this multi faceted practice. In my programs and on retreats we get to spend time on breathwork and meditation, so I’m excited to share this two-part series of videos that focus on the breath, with you.

In this first video, I guide you into bringing greater awareness onto the breath itself, before we start to consciously lengthen it out and utilise the great space we have available to us within the lungs.

Pranayama, the yogic practice of breath control, has many benefits – from working the respiratory system to increase lung capacity, warming up the body from within, toning the core, developing focus and clarity, relaxation, increasing happiness and ultimately increasing longevity!

Try this breath class out, seated or lying down, and leave me your comments on how you felt. Next week I’ll share another exercise that will get the respiratory system working more, developing the capacity of the lungs and allowing you to take in more air and more oxygen to help keep the body going when you need it to!

Till then,

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Helen Clare

Helen Clare, founder of Helen Clare Yoga and Run Better with Yoga, is a trail runner, senior yoga teacher and yoga for athletes coach, living in Cornwall, UK.


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