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Breathe. Simple word, simple action. Yet we make it so much more difficult than it needs to be. So many times during our busy days we forget to do that one simple thing that calms our soul, eases our mind, and relaxes the body. Even in my dancing, I get so caught up in the steps, technique, and music that I forget to just BREATHE. This results in dizziness, balance issues, and shortness of breath which in turn decreases my performance. It can do the same things in our lives. By choosing or forgetting to breathe, we are less likely to perform (in whatever aspects of our day) to the best of our ability and achieve contentment and success. Whether we are undergoing stress, excitement, anger, or any other emotion, remembering to breathe can completely change the way that we handle the situation.

So how do we improve our body’s ability (and remembrance) to breathe? Practicing yoga is my best solution to you. I started taking a class at my local gym a couple years ago and fell in love; practicing helps to release all your tensions and worries, even if just for a short amount of time. Coincidentally, the most important part of the practice is to be conscious of your breathe. This is the hardest thing for me to grasp in yoga. As a dancer, I have always been concentrating so hard on increasing my flexibility and deepening stretches that I usually ignore the breathing aspect. However, I have learned that the breath actually controls how much are bodies are able to deepen into stretch and how long we are able to hold the poses. Interesting how breathing seems to control everything in life right?

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been unable to leave my house much in the last week because of the snow. That on top of my crazy work and dance schedule has caused me to miss more yoga classes than I want to. I was pretty bummed on Monday when I wasn’t able to make it to yoga class, so I looked up some yoga videos online. I found a series called Yasmin Yoga. The video that caught my eye was titled Basics 1: Breathing and Alignment. I like my yoga practices to be challenging but also relaxing. The video was 60 minutes long and suited my needs perfectly. The creator and yogi in these videos is Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow, an experienced yogi of 15 years. Like the title of the Basic 1 video says, the practice focused on breathing and alignment which are super important to yoga and other things such as dancing. The practice was simple, yet extremely affective. My body and mind felt so rejuvenated after the hour was up; it made me excited to know that I can still achieve an affective yoga practice at home. Today I practiced with her video The Delicious Discipline which was slightly more challenging, yet very great for releasing muscle tension. The good thing about Yasmin’s videos is that she provide several options for most poses that fit the needs for your individual practice. She has several more videos that focus on other important aspects of yoga, and I’m looking forward to checking them out.

So find a comfortable space in your home, spread out your mat, dim the lights, burn some essential oils, and give your body and mind an escape.

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“Breathe it all in, love it all out”

Ashlyn Tori<3