Anatomy Of Ha Ma Yoga

Some students will close the glottis entirely but come out of the postur with an "aaagh." Others will keep the glottis partially closed but make soft grunting sound when they exhale and come up. Yet others will resit-exhaling but without closing the glottis. Teachers may not notice this las pattern unless they are watching for it because it doesn't make noise. Bi in any case, students who hold their breath or breathe aberrantly in stand» backward bends speak their discomfort and anxiety clearly, at least to tho who have educated eyes and ears. If students cannot inhale and exha • smoothly in the posture, it is better for them to limit the bend—breathii g constantly, keeping the lungs open to the atmosphere, and consciou depending for security on strong and healthy pelvic and respirati diaphragms, abdominal muscles, and hip flexors.

A simple experiment will show two distinct ways that breathing c n work in standing backbonds. Ask a class of beginning students to come ii o the whole-body backward bend with their hands clasped overhead and lift i. Then ask them to breathe gently and notice that their hands move forw d during inhalation and to the rear during exhalation. After they have cc le in touch with this, ask them to notice when they feel the most discomfi t, or if not discomfort, wariness. Most of them will say it is at the end of exhalal n, when their hands drop to the rear. It so happens that this is the momeii in the breathing cycle that corresponds to the least tension in the abdom al muscles and in the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms, which furnish le most important support for the posture in everyone who is keeping the ir-way open. Because the spine is most vulnerable when tension is release in these supporting muscles, many teachers wisely suggest an alternal e: that students consciously reverse their natural breathing pattern in relation to the bend. Instead of letting inhalation restrict the bend id exhalation accentuate it, they will suggest that students inhale t ir maximum inspiratory capacity during the deepest part, of the bend nd then purposely ease forward during exhalation.

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