poetic~let us breathe and feel deeper

just a few of my thoughts from today ~

breathing and feeling deeply enables us to live well,
breathing and feeling deeper allows us to love well.

i was out and about to get my 2011 calendars
on this first day of the new year.
when i got in my car
i took a deep, strong breath in and felt the air surge through me
i let a long, relaxing breath out and felt the air flow away from me.
i realized how well i live and feel because of this practice i learned from yoga.

then the first line of this simple concept trickled into my mind
and i scribbled it down on a scrap of paper ~

breathing and feeling deeply enables us to live well

i contemplated this as i drove. by the time i got home
i realized how powerful and even greater this idea was for me.
because when i love well
it’s as if i have taken a deeper breath, and felt a deeper connection
on the outside and the inside.

i wrote the second line down on that piece of paper ~

breathing and feeling deeper allows us to love well

intoxicating deep breaths oftentimes
stimulate even deeper thoughts and
sometimes even the deepest feelings within me.

what do you think? ~sb

on 12/12/2010 i drove up the PCH past L.A. County Line and just BREATHED it all in {photo by sarah nean bruce}

3 responses to “poetic~let us breathe and feel deeper

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention poetic~let us breathe and feel deeper « sarah nean bruce ~ living in urbia -- Topsy.com·

  2. Ever since massage school I have realized that breathing deeply is highly underrated! It can help you feel better in many situations. People don’t even know! I have been experiencing some AWFUL anxiety lately. Even so bad that it’s been manifesting physically, the ONLY thing that helps without taking a pill is breathing…in thru the nose out the mouth. Great observation seeSTAR! xoxo

    • thanks SeaStar! i have been doing “whisper breathing” for nine months now, and it’s even better! here’s a bunch of info on it:
      Ujjayia Pranayama –
      translates into Victorious Breath or stretching of the breath.
      It is a warming breath. It is nick named “whisper breath” because
      it creates a strong aspirant or whisper sound (like a hospital respirator sound).

      Ocean breath, is popularly referred to as “rib breathing,” “hissing breath.”
      It lets us create a distinct sound, similar to an ocean breeze, while relaxing.


      Ujjayi is a diaphragmatic breath, which first fills the lower belly (activating the first and second chakras), rises to the lower rib cage (the third and fourth chakras), and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. The technique is very similar to the three-part Tu-Na breathing found in Taoist Qi Gong practice.
      Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The “ocean sound” is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out. As the throat passage is narrowed so, too, is the airway, the passage of air through which creates a “rushing” sound. The length and speed of the breath is controlled by the diaphragm, the strengthening of which is, in part, the purpose of ujjayi. The inhalations and exhalations are equal in duration, and are controlled in a manner that causes no distress to the practitioner.

      Ujjayi Pranayama is a balancing and calming breath which increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat
      This breath enables the practitioner to maintain a rhythm to their practice, take in enough oxygen, and helps build energy to maintain practice, while clearing toxins out of the bodily system. This breath is especially important during transition into and out of asanas (postures), as it helps practitioners to stay present, self-aware and grounded in the practice, which lends it a meditative quality.

      Ujjayi, sometimes referred to as “cobra breathing” is also a helpful way for the yogi or yogini to keep the vital life force, prana, circulating throughout the body rather than escaping from it.

      This technique is quite advantageous in many respects.
      it allows easy circulation and oxygenation of our blood.
      It also permits us to bring yourself into the present moment,
      sharpening our concentration skills and giving us extra physical strength.


      Ujjayi means rising victoriously. When practiced regularly the chest and torso remain up giving the practitioner a look of pride. This is also good for the lower back and reduces the mass around the waist line.

      Ujjayi pranayama is the roots of yoga breathing techniques. It is the foundation of proper breathing and one of the most comonly practiced yoga breathing techniques.

      In Ujjayi pranayama the body becomes a musical instrument. The ears and mind continually listening and fine tuning this instrument to create the perfect sounds during inhalation and exhalation.

      Many yoga practitioners believe that our life is measured by the amount of breaths that are taken. For this reason Ujjayi is used to lengthen the breath and lengthen the span of life.

      An unsteady breath leads to an unsteady mind therefore Ujjayi is also practiced to smoothen the flow of breath and harmonize the breathing rhythms.


      The Practice:

      1. Sit in a comfortable seated pose, with your head neck and trunk aligned. Inhale and exhale deeply with your nose, using the diaphragm, instead of your chest to breathe. You will feel your lower abdomen, sides of the ribcage, and lower back expanding and contracting with your breath.

      2. On the exhales, begin to tone the back of the throat, slightly constricting the passage of air. Try partially closing the glottis, the aperture in the throat just behind the larynx. The glottis is contracted when you whisper, so if you are having trouble first whisper a few words to isolate the action in your throat, and then eliminate the words all together.

      3. Once you are comfortable with the exhale, begin to apply the same toning of the throat to the inhales. This is the full Ujjayi pranayama. You may notice how the sound you are making resembles that of the sound of the waves in a conch shell.

      4. Now start to use this breath during your practice. Ujjayi is an excellent preparation for meditation, allowing us to hone in on and deepen the breath first, and then let it go as we move in to our meditation practice.


      This pranayama is most often used in association with the practice of yoga poses, especially in the vinyasa style. Vinyasa yoga is breath-synchronized movement, and the breath used is Ujjayi breath. Learn this breath while seated in a comfortable cross-legged position. Once we feel confident, we begin to use it during asana practice.

      1. Inhale and exhale deeply through the mouth.

      2. On the exhales, begin to tone the back of the throat, slightly constricting the passage of air. Imagine that we are fogging up a pair of glasses.

      3. Once we are comfortable with the exhale, begin to apply the same toning of the throat to the inhales. This is where the name of the breath comes from: it sounds like the ocean. (It also sounds like Darth Vadar.)

      4. When we are able to control the throat on both the inhale and the exhale, close the mouth and begin breathing through the nose. Continue applying the same toning to the throat that we did when the mouth was open. The breath will still make a loud noise coming in and out of the nose. This is Ujjayi breath.

      5. Now start to use this breath during our practice. If the teacher tells us to move on an inhale, make it an Ujjayi inhale. If we need a little something extra while holding a pose, remember this breath.

      Concentrates and directs the breath, giving asana practice extra power and focus.


      To create breath softly contract the throat (or space between your vocal chords called the “glottis”) to subtly regulate & modulate our breath in and out and allowing only so much breath to pass through. This regulates our breath in and out keeping them long and full.

      On exhale your breath moves from your palate to your pelvic floor. On inhale your breath moves from pelvic floor up to palate.
      With each successive inhalation work you breath a little high and a little fuller.

      Work this for thee to five minutes. In your yoga practice use the Ujjayia breath at all times unless you are performing other yogic breathing exercises.

      (Another way to think about Ujjayi Breath is to visualize our throat as a garden hose, with the breath passing through like a trickle of water. If we put our thumb partially over the opening of the hose, we increase the power of the water that is coming through. This is the same thing we are doing with our throat during Ujjayi breathing. The air that comes in through our constricted throat is a powerful, directed breath that we can send into the parts of our body that need it during yoga).

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