Yoga breathing

Linda asks…

Can I go crazy from yoga breathing?

I am looking forward to start a breathing exercise routine at home with no trainers, just with internet information. My mom said that by doing yoga with no trainer I can go crazy, nut I don’t think it has anything to do with that. Can I get help? Thank you anticipated 😀 😉

Author answers:

Yes, there is a reason for this caution. Luckily, most yogic breathing practices are fine. It’s the advanced pranayama practices that sometimes get people into trouble.

This link pretty much explains where your mom is coming from:

I personally had some painful experiences as a result of what I now consider to be self abusive breathing practices. At the time I initially had some exhilarating experiences but then things changed and I am only now starting to get back to normal after 15 years.

What I now realize is that the breathing exercises left me anxious, excited, and many times weak and shaky. Unless you feel deep relaxation along with a slowed heart rate, then the practice is probably not healthy. Yes, as I look back, the exhilirated feelings I had were coupled with anxiety. Any practices involving holding the breath in particular can awaken anxiety and fear if not done properly with an expert observing the student looking for the subtle signs of distress that the student may not be initially aware of.

Have you ever been scared so intensely that your fingernails dug into either your own hand, someone else, or something else you were holding. You don’t notice until afterwards the scratch marks. By the time you notice, the damage is already done. The same thing goes for some of the pranayama practices. A teacher could stop you before you hurt yourself.

Also note that kundalini yoga practitioners will dispute some of these cautions but they are also the same practitioners that learned from experienced teachers in person, not from books and videos.

I had to learn the hard way because nobody cautioned me. Hopefully, with the right information, you can avoid the same fate. If you have any questions about specific breathing practices, please feel free to email me.

Mandy asks…

What are some exercises I could do at home to discipline myself physically – kind of pilates x martial arts?

I can’t get to any kind of lesson but really want to discipline myself physically. So, I’m looking for some kind of series of exercises I can do, just at home by myself, to get stronger (!!) and like… faster. Improve balance, co-ordination, flexibility, reflexes… like a mixture between pilates or yoga and martial arts… training and working muscles through stretching and that. Something I can make a routine with. Not weights or anything though 😉

Actually (might be asking a bit much) but a website detailing how to do some exercises like this would be absolutely brilliant.

Author answers:

Very good start! I advice you to go check this free yoga e-course:

All the best

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