Sports FAQ
Home / Yoga

Questions for the yogis

Aaron2010-07-04 16:55:15 +0000 #1
I've got a few questions which are not necessarily for the practice of yoga but I figure you guys will have the best answers I can get, so I'm asking them here.

1: Breathing.

Is there a rule of thumb on when you should be breathing in/out with relation to your movements?

I'm learning the importance of controlled breathing, and most/all good instruction for any form of exercise emphasizes correct breathing, I'm just wondering what defines it as "correct".

2: Lower back.

Should I or should I not bend backwards with my lower back?

I have found over the years that every time I do any stretches in this way, I experience discomfort within a week or so.

What is the correct way of bending backwards?
Pandara2010-07-04 17:00:01 +0000 #2
Hi Aaron,

Valid and good questions.

About breathing: Breathing or correctly named pranayama in yoga is much more complex than most people would like to think or imagine. I am speak purely from a yogic pov. Correct breathing starts at teaching yogis the importantce of the mind/breath connection, in other words if the breathing are slow and deliberate then the mind is calm and peaceful, but as soon as the breath becomes aggitated, stressed or aggresive so does the mind. Second is to teach new yogis "correct" breathing as it was intended. Do yourself a favour watch when a baby sleeps or take a bath next time, watch their breathing, they rarely breath with (although into) their lungs, but they use their tummies or abdomen to do the breathing, the diaphram moves more than the chest area. We call this abdominal breathing or the Yogic Breath in yoga. Once mastered you can move onto more advanced practices. In terms of breathing with the asanas, my teacher taught me in when you contract, out when you relax, it is simple to remember.

About the back: Use common sense, if something hurts or creates discomfort stop doing it, it means your muscles are not yet strong enough to handle the pressure of a backbender. First further develop the back muscles a bit more then attempt back bending. You can also place your hands in your lower back to add support and always remember to nip the buttock muscles in and together to support and protect the lower back in a back bend.

Hope this shed some light.
Aaron2010-07-04 17:41:48 +0000 #3

Hope this shed some light.


Thanks for your response.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 17:09:15 +0000 #4
Normal yogic breathing is to exhale on the doing or "power" stroke of the movement. However when the opening in the body is greater than the breath as it is in some backbends, the breathing is opposite. Likewise if the student is doing the Tibetan Rites the breathing is opposite yogic breathing.

Specific pranayamas have specific methodologies for efficacy. Each is different though in some cases subtly.

If you look at pictures of the spine it is fairly obvious the lumbar section is already in a backbend. So generally speaking, no you should not be "backbending" with the low back as that would likely compress it and cause a variety of issues. In backbending the spine should arc in a uniform fashion. When one segment is doing all the work it is likely folding, overstrained, and at risk, and weakened.

The "correct" way(s) are to be taught by a teacher - not us internet virtuosos.

Sorry for the rushed reply. I'm off to teach
Aaron2010-07-04 17:48:20 +0000 #5

Thanks for your advice.


The "correct" way(s) are to be taught by a teacher - not us internet virtuosos.

I don't disagree with you but I'm happy with the quality of advice that I can get from virtuosos like yourself. - So long as I use my own judgment to filter out implications that I should find a teacher. This is my path and I'm walking it the way that best suits me.



Other posts in this category