Motivation & Drive
Let Food be Thy Medicine

I hope this month finds you navigating a new way of fitting into this different kind of year, with new growth goals & insight. It’s been a year of getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

On a personal note August has us travelling through Switzerland, the land of deliciously fresh mountain cheese & creamy mouth watering chocolate – which I can’t have ANY of. Here’s my practice of discomfort – letting go of my comfort food choices. Challenging? Oh yes, I’m finding it WAY more challenging than the Covid situation in all honesty. Yet ADAPTABILITY is the only way. My motivation is HEALTH and my drive is ALIVE. When my thoughts have me believing I’m missing out I override them with ‘I reject that thought’ &  it’s working like a charm!

After a few trips to my Chinese Doctor for digestive issues I was put on a special diet which has been a BIG challenge while on the road. Yet it’s making my will stronger and my belly better in the long run (I hope!)
Although most of these things were never a huge part of my daily diet, I’ve been advised to completely avoid all dairy, spicy foods, gluten, sugar (even from fruits) alcohol & chocolate. I need to drink two glasses of ginger & lemon water each morning followed by two glasses of fresh pure celery juice, followed by a blend of Chinese Herbs & fasting 18 hours between dinner and the following days first meal. I’m also repeating affirmations 20 times/day and practicing yoga & meditation, getting plenty of fresh air and exercise as usual.

It’s been a mission while on the road but I have been beautifully supported by my partner, his familia & my chinese doc. I am SO grateful for the support they have shown in preparing us meals which are suitable, it really warms my heart & I hope that it will teach others to take care of themselves when times call for it, regardless of the pressure that may be thrown our way.

I believe we’ve turned into a society that would rather pop a pill than change our diet. That’s a pretty sad state of affairs and I get it – it’s hard. Yet it’s through that resistance that we get stronger. I’ve noticed my love affair for cheese runs long and deep, it’s the glue that I thought was holding my life together :)) .
Letting it go is my biggest struggle. I love cheese WAY more than it loves me. It’s like letting a destructive relationship go, it hurts in many ways yet we know the time has come to say goodbye….

Is there anything you feel it’s time to let go of? A habit that no longer serves your growth or an old way of being that holds you back? These are the practices that develop our strength, growth & attachment humanly habits.

I always love hearing back from my readers with any shares this may trigger

EVERY TIME YOU EAT OR DRINK
YOU ARE EITHER FEEDING A DISEASE OR
FIGHTING IT

MBY 2020 Offerings

Online Private Sessions |  75 mins = 60 euros
From your home to mine at your preferred time
Tailored to your individual mental, emotional and physical needs
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/product/one-one-online-yoga/

KriyaAsana Yoga Retreat WEEK
October 10th – 17th | GOZO
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/gozo-yoga-retreat/

MBY 200 hr KriyaAsana YTT
October 21 – November 15th
November 25 – December 6th (all dates required)
Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays
10am – 5pm
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/mby-teacher-training/

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Inner power to all you peoples from zee Swiss mountains, green pastures and happy cows 🙂
SatNamNamasteShantiShanti

 

Hola…

I often find myself thinking of how many different lives are being lived at one time. I find it so enjoyable to read all your responses & where you are writing from in this world. It’s always so nice to hear back from readers – it really is what keeps me going – I know I say this at the beginning of most of my newsletters & I will continue to share my appreciation for your time & attention  🙂
Here’s a link to some great world music
https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2020/royal-albert-home-nitin-sawhney/?fbclid=IwAR0xbws3ZN7ywryaqlmXvE3of3m5eGxH-c6oC9yacmZa7ym-ayYn3ZDpNbI

There’s a great divide in how we conduct our lives.  One side is accepting our Wholeness – offering ourselves compassion and kindness. Loving all parts, the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s about being around others who also accept our wholeness and offer us support.

The other side is criticism and how much of that we are accepting in our lives & how much of that we are serving up to others & adding to the world.

This month’s theme is directing the practice of compassion to our self. Accepting our wholeness and releasing the inner critic we’ve created through our thoughts & actions. When we become kinder to ourselves we are open to accept that kindness from others. We release more of the critics that don’t serve our growth.

Give it a Go? See how it feels? Create space for an inner voice that’s kind, release the external attacks and projections of others shortcomings. Your load will feel lighter.

Creating An Affirmation:
First we must recognise the voice in our head that is not very kind to us. Then we are creating a ‘new program’ by stating an affirmation to the mind that is kind, loving & compassionate. This is to be repeated 20 times everyday to yourself.  You can also write it down 20 times a day which will make it more powerful.

If you do take on that practice feel free to share your experiences –

Wishing you all health in body, mind & spirit

MBY 2020 Offerings 

Mawk Phoenix House Concert Series IV
Saturday July 25th | GOZO
20.00 -23.00
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/news/mawk-phoenix-house-concert-series-iv-saturday-july-25th-gozo/

Online Private Sessions |  75 mins = 60 euros
From your home to mine at your time
Tailored to your individual mental, emotional and physical needs
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/product/one-one-online-yoga/

KriyaAsana Yoga Retreat WEEK
October 10th – 17th | GOZO
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/gozo-yoga-retreat/

MBY 200 hr KriyaAsana YTT
October 21 – November 15th
November 25 – December 6th (all dates required)
Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays
10am – 5pm
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/mby-teacher-training/

SatNamNamasteShantiShanti

It’s been too long and we would like to invite you all to join us on this special intimate musical evening with Mawk Phoenix.

Mawk Phoenix aka Marc Dold is a Swiss-born music creator who resided & worked in LA for 20 years and is now based in Gozo.

In his live performances Mawk builds a unique blend of acoustic guitars and lush, tribal electronic beats and textures , which he calls Acoustica. This is his PR’s description of his last album, This is the Sound…

‘Listeners emerge from a vast wilderness enveloped in a fog of loneliness and self doubt to find a sonic meadow where senses are brimmed with warmth and exhilarating clarity of self. It’s a sonic journey to a zenith of tranquility & transcendence.’

What others have to say about Mawk Phoenix’s latest album release, This is the Sound

‘Brilliant piece of work’ Back to Culture UK

‘Love it – it’s as if Simon & Garfunkel collaborated with Air’ Funky SX (UK)

‘The sexy Brit vocal like Sting and Peter Gabriel’ NTS Radio (UK/US)

The former producer of hits for artists like Celine Dion, Enya, Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado and many more has left the commercial realm to create a very introspective and authentic collection of songs on transformation.

With new material to share and prayers for any weary hearts we invite you to join this listening experience

Date: Saturday July 25th @ 20.00

Location: 17 Bishop Molina Street, Pjazza Praga | Gharb

Time: 20.00
Music will start at 21.00

Cost: 10 euros

We will provide nibbles for your palates pleasure…

BYOB

Here are some links to Mawk’s music:

New Release: “Prayer For The Weary”
https://hypeddit.com/link/zrch25

Title track of the last album: “This is the sound”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26U7L-Mm1yY

Mawk Phoenix, become a friend and get some FREE MUSIC:
http://mawkphoenix.com/

Spotify, Apple Music, etc:
https://lnkfi.re/ThisIsTheSound_Album

Mawk Phoenix on FB & Instagram
https://www.facebook.com/mawkphoenixmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/mawkphoenix/

This is how we grow….

108 Sun Salutations to celebrate the International Yoga Day and Summer Solstice.

You will be guided by the following Yoga Teaches:
Jennifer Bonello, Jana Najar, Nop Koch, Teresa Azzopardi, Antje Lewerenz, Monique van Bemmelen, Michelle Bartolo, Lina Vuk.

108 sounds a lot…!
You start and stop whenever your body or your mind tells you to do so.

What to bring?
Your own yoga mat
Sun screen lotion
Drinking water
Curiosity
and a smile

We will start at 07.00h sharp in the ditch of the Citadella.
Please plan to be on site at 06.45h at the latest to have a smooth start.

Your investment:
EUR 10.00 payable with your booking
You can pay with Revolut or Paypal.
All proceeds go to the Citadella and SPCA.
For safety reasons e can only accept pre-booked and pre-paid reservations.
Only limited space available!

Payment Info:
Please send the EUR 10.00 to:
paypal.me/yellowrockyoga
Revolut: 77 300 231
If you have trouble with the payment, please contact Monique to receive a payment link. +356-77 300 231 whats app only.

This workshop is for you to be able to make informed choices for safe variations for your future yoga classes and students- maybe even yourself.
We all love the ancient practice of yoga and believe in the benefits of all its aspects including Hatha- the movement practice.

The lecture will combine the latest insights in anatomy and physiology as well as exercise principles to this beautiful holistic practice and like that build a bridge from past to present practice.
Nowadays we might be more open to individualise our yoga practice to our personal needs and limitations. We have to be aware of the benefits yet also of the shortcomings of asana practice.
Anne Soffken (more about her below) will share her research and the opinions she has formed based on her practice & her experience in clinical practice.

Joint structure and function
In the first part of the lecture we will focus on joint anatomy and function based on the hip and shoulder joints.

Revision
We will revise the anatomical structures such as ligaments and muscles related to hip and shoulder complex. Then we move on to integrating this in the bigger picture.

Natural variation
Not every person who practices yoga has a picture book structured body. What we see in anatomy books is just a simplified version of an average structure. I will show you a glimpse of what nature has to offer

Muscle and Myofascia
What are muscles? How do they work? What is myofascia and how can we use its properties in our yoga practice?

Core
How does myofascia play an integral part in the make up of our core musculature? We will look into the muscles and structures involved in keeping the centre of our body stable.

SI joint
We will revise the anatomy of the SI joint and its relationship with our core function. Why is the SI joint such a weak spot in yoga practice? How can we prevent yoga injuries and teach a safer practice?

About Anne:

Anne Soffken
Anne’s yoga classes are inspired by her long standing fascination for anatomy and physiology. With 15 years of experience in manual therapy and movement education which allowed her to look at yoga from a therapists perspective. When Anne was introduced to yoga she immediately thought this movement practice has great potential to guide people through an exploration of the postural integrity of their bodies as well as establishing a mind body connection. Enabling a person to truly heal from the inside. Anne is also a mother of 2 year old Bruno, who keeps her on the ball and makes the mindful movement practice even more challenging and fun.

Anne trained as a physiotherapist in Hamburg, Germany. After some time in practice she started seeking a more holistic approach to patient care. She went to study osteopathy at the European School of Osteopathy in Kent, England. This Masters Degree course entailed structural osteopathic techniques and orthopedic diagnosis as well as training in cranial osteopathy and visceral techniques. Anne has great interest in the influence of fascial tensions and restrictions on a person’s posture, well being and performance. In 2016 Anne also did Michelle Bartolo’s 200 hr KriyaAsana privately in Malta.

Date: Sunday July 5th

Location: Gharb, GOZO

Time: 14.00 – 18.00

Cost: 50 euros (full payment secures space)

Booking in advance is necessary
Payments can be made via Revolut and/or bank transfer
Private message Michelle Bartolo to book & get details

Looking forward to welcoming Anne, hope you can join us 🙂

Welcome to June’s Newsletter
Thanks for all the lovely feedback from the last months newsletter, it’s always so
nice to know these are being read & hearing from y’all makes me smile so THANK YOUA few years back I wasn’t adapting to everything that was happening in my life with much grace.
I remember seeing this slogan on a large poster in LA ‘ Adapt to Whatever Life Throws at You.’
It was one of them AH HA moments – it instantly made me feel more peaceful & reminded me of the ‘flexibility’ we practice to keep us balanced in mind, body & spirit. This ‘slogan’ became my inner daily dialogue. A surfer of life & right now, SURF’S UP!
For the fun of it and cause I LOVE penguins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e96_1NxL9noAs we’re thrown into these revolutionary times Adaptability will make it as easy as it possibly can be.
It’s a sad time on our planet, when one country suffers, we all do – when humans are suffering we all do – this year has proved how all ‘one’ we are. Start small and treat the people around you with great love.On the topic of LOVE &  hearing how many of you enjoyed Dr Zach Bush’s shares here’s a much shorter message from him (11 min) that hit all my heart strings. In times with so much uncertainty I choose what makes me feel more love and that’s also what I choose to spread – if everything is energy than let’s spread LOVE instead of FEAR – Love heals, Fear doesn’t.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLaVutWXju0

I also believe in the alignment of the planets having an effect on our lives – the alignment they are in now and have been in since the beginning of the year has always been a revolutionary time – it somehow makes it a bit easier to digest that this is all part of the universal process.

Here’s a great explanation from an astrologer my partner has been seeing for many years – practical and useful information on what’s happening in the skies
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtml99aK-mM

I wish for us to adapt to all that comes our way – I wish for all of us to communicate our truth even if it makes us feel vulnerable – I wish that through this communication of our truth we will heal our separateness & isolation

As we’ve heard it said, the more difficult the subject, the more healing is to be gained from talking about it. 

MBY’s 2020 Offerings 

108 Sun Salutations for Summer Solstice | GOZO
Collaborative donation based event for the Gozo SPCA
Sunday June 21st at The Citadel, Victoria
(message for more details)

Full Moon Kirtan | GOZO
Monthly collaborative Donation based event for the Gozo SPCA | GOZO
https://www.facebook.com/groups/172300814106150/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

KriyaAsana LIVE Classes in Gharb, GOZO
Mondays & Wednesdays
18.30 – 20.00
Here’s the free online class if any of you have missed it
https://vimeo.com/274382398?fbclid=IwAR2EBpgM0jwfeL1Auq-VTxaWpAJCcLjtzCL69B5sY98Uq3YDCR57YwzjK40

MBY Private Online Sessions 
From your country to mine
Tailored to your individual needs
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/product/one-one-online-yoga/

MBY Inside/Out Retreat Week | GOZO
October 10th – 17th
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/gozo-yoga-retreat/

MBY KriyaAsana 200 hr YTT | GOZO
October 21st – December 6th
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/mby-teacher-training/

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With my hand to my heart I leave you with these wise words

Like Einsten said “we cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Let’s expand our thinking and let’s get massively creative with new ways to implement change.

Spread.Love.
Blessings to all
Michelle x

Satya – May your Truth be told

Hola compadres! I wish this newsletter finds you in a space of peace & truth

In my private YTT this month we are currently studying the Chapter Satya (Truth) from a book that acts like a bible for me (The Yamas & Niyamas, Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele).

In the past few weeks I realised I wasn’t sharing my truth out of fear of how it would be received. I felt strongly that this truth I was carrying inside had to live outside.

I was inspired by a talk about the Pandemic by Dr Zach Bush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUiGgRHES4k
who’s heart and truth is wide open for all to hear. I admired his courage in going against the mainstream & in turn I followed my need to expose my truth – and yes there were repercussions from many who seem to have forgotten that we are all free to share our truth, that we have freedom of speech and that it’s ok to have different opinions & not have to convince anyone of anything. Fighting against each other is not a conducive way of creating peace in our world which we are in desperate need of.

It made me feel a bit sad to think how many of us hold our truths inside, in fear of what may happen if we share what’s in our hearts. I wonder if we are just surrounded in an environment that doesn’t support our truth?

Truth IS your identity & it’s not meant to live only on the inside.

REFLECTION PRACTISE:

Do you have a truth inside you are not expressing?
Why do you not feel free to express that truth?
Imagine how free you would feel if you did express that truth?

Begin to visualise expressing that truth in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone yet sets you free…

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This doctors courage and connection to both spirit & science  restored my faith & inspired me to share it – always look for & follow that inspiration – that voice that resonates with what is in your heart.

I am also so grateful to be sharing a life with a partner who’s views coincide with mine – to feel supported, heard and understood. Please know that you deserve to be SEEN & your view is worthy.

SATYA (truth) be with you

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MBY 2020 Offerings:

FREE 2O min guided Meditation & Soundbath by MBY & Mawk Phoenix
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqbkhU1J_Zg

FREE Mawk Phoenix’s latest track, Prayer for the Weary inspired by our current times
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc8tLbGNcDA

MBY 200 hr KriyaAsana YTT / GOZO
June 3 – July 6th
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/mby-teacher-training/

MBY Inside/Out Retreat / GOZO
October 10-17th
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/gozo-yoga-retreat/

MBY 200 hr KriyaAsana YTT / GOZO
October 21st – December 6th / GOZO
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/mby-teacher-training/

MBY Online Private One to One Sessions
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/product/one-one-online-yoga/

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Wishing you all peace with your truth 😉

Would you like to learn some self care tools to help keep you feeling more focused, relaxed, clear & healthy? How’s about learning more about your anatomy, it’s structure and how you can take better care of yourself in body, mind & spirit?

MBY is collaborating with Anne Soffken (registered Osteopath & Physiotherapist) to bring you this Yoga for Self Care weekend retreat in Gozo where we will work on what you want to heal on a mental, emotional, physical & spiritual level. Using Yoga as a Holistic way of caring for ourselves.

MBY will be running Kundalini classes which will include pranayama, meditation, a full Kundalini set which works on a subtle level to relax the central, parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system through KRIYAS which are a combination of breath, sound & movement. We will work on strengthening our magnetic field which travels from our hearts to a radius of 9 feet around us so we can live in line with our Vibration of Truth which is your Sat Nam

Anne Soffken (https://www.facebook.com/yogawithannetheosteopath/) will be guiding you into understanding posture and the connections of anatomical structures to inform movement practice. In her classes we will be moving without judgement and ambition, not to achieve a certain body image or sports goal. Rather we will move in order to feel strong and comfortable. We work with our bodies in order to feel supported by the physical body so it can in return support our mental body.

MBY will be preparing all healthy fresh vegetarian meals on this weekend & Anne Soffken will be offering a workshop on an introduction to the ideas of the continuation of myofascial structures in our musculoskeletal support system. We will explore in which way a mindful yoga practice can benefit posture and physical health. How we can modify our yoga practice so that it will become our great self care tool to feel more strong and subtle. You will learn how to modify yoga poses in order to suit the needs of our physical and emotional bodies.

What’s Included:

* Two Nights Accommodation in a cozy farmhouse in the countryside
* Welcome Vegetarian Meal upon arrival on Friday eve
* All meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday
* 2 x Kundalini Classes with Michelle Bartolo
* 2 x Posture & Movement Classes with Anne Soffken
* Workshop by Anne Soffken
* Nature hike weather permitting
* Time to sit back & relax 🙂

Dates: June 5-7th
Location: Ghasri | GOZO

Investment:

450 euros | single
300 euros ea | shared

Full payment required to reserve your space via Revolut to 99670342 or direct BOV deposit (contact me for account info)

Limited to max 10 participants

About Us:

Michelle Bartolo
I have been in the fitness & health industry for 30 years now and am fascinated by the human mind/body. My yoga journey began when I noticed I was going way off balance – off to Rishikesh, India I went in 2010 into an Ashram to do my 500hr Teacher Training in Transformational Yoga. Since then I’ve offered retreats, privates, classes and 200 hr teacher trainings on an international level.

My classes are now inspired by the Kundalini tradition which I have been practicing since 2010 and teaching for the past 6 years. Kundalini works very close to the nervous system on a subtle level and unpacks whatever we may have stored in our physical bodies both mentally & emotionally. Having been in the Yoga field now for 20 years this practice has given proved incredibly results in both myself and my students. I’ve worked with students who are suffering from depression,epilepsy, arthritis, insecurity, slipped discs, Attention Deficit Disorder & fibromyalgia.

Anne Soffken
My yoga classes are inspired by my long standing fascination for anatomy and physiology. 15 years of experience in manual therapy and movement education allow me to look at yoga from a therapists perspective. When I was introduced to yoga I immediately thought this movement practice has great potential to guide people through an exploration of the postural integrity of their bodies as well as establishing a mind body connection enabling a person to truly heal from the inside. I am also the mother of 2 year old Bruno, who keeps me on the ball and makes the mindful movement practice even more challenging and fun.

I trained as a physiotherapist in Hamburg, Germany. After some time in practice I started seeking a more holistic approach to patient care. I went to study osteopathy at the European School of Osteopathy in Kent, England. This Masters Degree course entailed structural osteopathic techniques and orthopedic diagnosis as well as training in cranial osteopathy and visceral techniques. I have great interest in the influence of fascial tensions and restrictions on a person’s posture, well being and performance. In 2016 I did Michelle Bartolo’s 200 hr KriyaAsana privately in Malta.

Recently I qualified in Germany as a breastfeeding counsellor which is mostly to support my knowledge when treating babies and mamas osteopathically and motivated me to start the mums meetups in Malta to offer a space for connecting and support for mothers.

****

We do welcome you to join us and educate yourself on the one home you are guaranteed to live in as long as you are here…

SatNamNamste

By: Gwen Lawrence

I grew up during the age of Jane Fonda aerobics marathons and “No pain, no gain” mantras. When the way of the warrior was breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. As an exercise enthusiast and a dancer throughout college, I lived my life this way without ever questioning the theory. Now I know better: Question everything!

Breathing is a 24-7 unconscious act. Breathing provides necessary oxygen to your body, without which the cells of your body would quickly die. But are you breathing the “right way”?

THE PATH OF THE BREATH

The air we breathe is first processed through the nose. The nose is a miraculous filter lined with tiny hairs called cilia. The cilia have many functions: they filter, humidify and warm or cool the air (depending on the temperature) before it enters the lungs. It is estimated that cilia protect our bodies against about 20 billion particles of foreign matter every day!

Once it exits the nose, air passes through the mucus-lined windpipe. This is another avenue to trap unwanted particles before they enter the lungs. Next, air enters the lungs, where the oxygen is pumped into the bloodstream and circulated through the body. In exchange, the air leaving the body carries with it carbon dioxide from the cells, a waste material that is expelled through exhalation.

THE BENEFITS OF NASAL BREATHING

Breathing through the nose is the way our bodies were designed. In fact, it’s been said that breathing through your mouth is about as practical as trying to eat through your nose!

According to experts, most people breathe at 10-20 percent of their full capacity. Restricted breathing greatly decreases respiratory function, which in turn decreases energy levels in the body. Since oxygen is our main source of life, and exhalation is the main way to expel toxins from our bodies, poor breathing can contribute to a multitude of health problems, from high blood pressure to insomnia. Poor breathing may even contribute to some forms of cancer: In 1931, Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize for determining that only oxygen-starved cells will mutate and become cancerous. That should be proof enough to learn how to breathe properly!

Many of us feel stressed out, overworked, and overstimulated during our daily lives, which leaves us in a chronic state of fight or flight response. Breathing in and out through the nose helps us take fuller, deeper breaths, which stimulates the lower lung to distribute greater amounts of oxygen throughout the body. Also, the lower lung is rich with the parasympathetic nerve receptors associated with calming the body and mind, whereas the upper lungs — which are stimulated by chest and mouth breathing — prompt us to hyperventilate and trigger sympathetic nerve receptors, which result in the fight or flight reaction.

Another reason to embrace proper nasal breathing? It can enhance your workout! John Douillard, author of Body Mind Sport, says:

“To experience the zone in training is our birthright, and it is within the design of our human nervous system to access it. To push ourselves to exhaustion when we have the capacity to allow effortless, perfect performance to flow naturally, from the inside out, seems somehow primitive and a waste of time. I have never heard of a peak experience that was described as painful, grueling or exhausting. Rather, the descriptions always fit the original definition of exercise: rejuvenating, stress-reliving and accessing full human potential.”

Here are a few more of the benefits of nasal breathing:

  • The lungs actually extract oxygen from the air during exhalation, in addition to inhalation. Because the nostrils are smaller than the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates a back flow of air (and oxygen) into the lungs. And because we exhale more slowly through the nose than we do though the mouth, the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from the air we’ve already taken in.
  • When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange during respiration, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased, which can result in dizziness or even fainting.
  • Air that we inhale through the nose passes through the nasal mucosa, which stimulates the reflex nerves that control breathing. Mouth breathing bypasses the nasal mucosa and makes regular breathing difficult, which can lead to snoring, breath irregularities and sleep apnea.
  • Breathing through the nose forces us to slow down until proper breath is trained; therefore, proper nose breathing reduces hypertension and stress.  It also helps prevent us from overexerting ourselves during a workout.
  • Our nostrils and sinuses filter and warm/cool air as it enters our bodies.
  • Our sinuses produce nitric oxide, which, when carried into the body through the breath, combats harmful bacteria and viruses in our bodies, regulates blood pressure and boosts the immune system.
  • Mouth breathing accelerates water loss, contributing to dehydration.
  • The nose houses olfactory bulbs, which are direct extensions of part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for many functions in our bodies, particularly those that are automatic, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, thirst, appetite and sleep cycles. The hypothalamus is also responsible for generating chemicals that influence memory and emotion.
  • The increased oxygen we get through nasal breath increases energy and vitality.

PERFECTING YOUR BREATH

Among all natural self-healing techniques, breath work is unique because breathing is the only conscious means of improving, maintaining, and repairing the other unconsciously run systems of the body. Heart rate, blood pressure, circulation, digestion, hormone secretion, and even our mental and emotional states all can be controlled, regulated, and healed through proper breathing practices. Ancient yogis knew this, and modern research and science agree.  Once the body is healthy, nourished and calm through proper breath work, the body can soar to its full potential.

So how do we make sure we are breathing correctly? Here are some tips:

BELLY BREATHING

Belly breathing —in conjunction with nasal breathing — is the most efficient way to achieve optimal health. Many people who breath through the mouth too much are also shallow chest breathers. Poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to this lazy, ineffective and unhealthy way of breathing. Instead, focus on breathing through the nose and into the belly.

The breathing muscle is the diaphragm, which should rise and fall with each breath, producing a belly movement. This movement massages the stomach and vital organs of digestion, promoting good elimination, another way to remove toxins from the body. This type of breathing also stimulates the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve that starts in the brain stem and extends, down below the head to the neck, chest and abdomen, where it contributes to the innervation of the organs of the body. Besides output to the various organs in the body, the vagus nerve conveys sensory information about the state of the body’s organs to the central nervous system.

NASAL IRRIGATION

One reason people do not utilize the nose for optimal breathing is that they are chronically congested. The age-old practice of Jala Neti, nasal irrigation, is the answer. This practice is thousands of years old, adapted from Eastern medicine. It is as common in the yoga community as brushing your teeth!

Proper breathing oxygenates the body and helps eliminate free radicals by removing pollutants, toxins and allergens. Accumulation of toxins takes place all the time and it is necessary to find safe, natural, non-addictive ways to rid the body of them and restore cells to normal. Nasal irrigation tools, such as neti pots, are a great way to accomplish this. This non-pharmacological therapy involves rinsing the nasal passages with a saltwater solution, helping to rid the nose of allergens and mucus. Nasal saline irrigation has been shown to be a beneficial therapy in the treatment and prevention of sinus infection and allergic rhinitis, and may even reduce the need for antibiotics in those people prone to sinus infections. Using a neti pot will leave you feeling invigorated, will decrease drowsiness, and will balance and strengthen the nervous system.

YOGA POSES FOR PROPER BREATHING

Finally, here are some easy yoga poses and breathing practices to help open your ribcage and achieve optimum breath:

So for the next few days, try to slow down and focus on breathing deeply in and out of your nose!