Tag Archives: breathe

Leave your Ego at the door

Release the grip of your Ego during class by following these simple, self-awareness steps.

Embrace the good and the bad days. Sometimes the last thing you want it to leave Netflix, central heating and chips and get yourself down to the studio. We know, we feel it too! But often they are the most rewarding classes; when you don’t really feel like it, you leave your chatterbox behind and boom, head up, knees locked, stomach in – it’s a rewarding class. 

You are not your ego. You’re not in competition with yourself or anyone else. Ah yes, the wandering eye in the mirror checking out what someone else is doing, how low their Eagle posture sinks, or how impressive their bind looks. Practice is for you at your own speed and pace and experience.

Compare = Despair. Don’t judge or compare. You could balance longer yesterday, but today your body is doing something different – that’s ok, it might even mean that you can go even deeper into another posture. Surprise yourself. You don’t always know which postures are going to feel like a second skin and which ones will leave you hanging. 

Let yourself fail. It’s on our FG poster, right? Laugh trying. We mean it. Fall on your face in crow pose, slide out of dancer like Bambi on ice; its how we learn where our daily limits are and how we become friends with our body. 

Be grateful. You were kept late at work, someone is in your favourite mat space, your forgot clean pants, yeah a bit rubbish, but in the grand scheme of things  – it’s all ok. Be grateful for the class, for the teacher, for the focus, for your strong legs and determination for getting to class like  trooper. Be grateful for yourself. Don’t be your own enemy. 

Listen to yourself. Give yourself permission to rest when needed, let your body adjust and develop at your own pace, practice proper alignment before depth, listen carefully to the teacher’s corrections and always try to leave your ego at the door. You never know, it might just lead to a breakthrough!

breathe fierce grace brixton

Why you need to breathe correctly

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

As part of your Fierce Grace practice, your teachers tell you when to breathe, or how to breathe as you move.  Part of this is because, let’s face it, it’s easy to forget when you are concentrating.  It’s nice to be reminded.  But there are some very practical reasons why pranayama, to give it the yoga name, is a as important as the poses themselves.

The O2 / CO2 exchange:  When you breathe in, you are filling your lungs with O2, aka oxygen.  The lungs take it to the chamber of the heart that releases it into the bloodstream, and this act also increases the blood flow, in order to take all the life giving O2 round the body.   On the exhale, your body is getting rid of CO2, carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct created by the mitochondria (energy production cells) as they burn sugars, fats and proteins.  CO2 is biochemical waste and it makes the blood more acidic – which can impair the function of the body’s cells.     By changing the length of the breath in and the breath out, you can help your body do its job more efficiently.

The nervous system:  this is a simple one.  Fast breathing dials up the stress hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and anxiety, while slowing the breath down dials down all of the above AND turns up relaxation, mental clarity and calm.

Maximising the benefits of your practice:  each pose, or asana, has been carefully chosen for whichever Fierce Grace sequence you are doing, because of its benefits to the body.  Using the breath properly not only enhances the physical benefit to the body but helps you get deeper into the pose, and power boosting the benefits.

So don’t just look at what your fellow yogis are doing, listen to your teacher and try and follow their directions on breathing for a healthier, calmer, deeper practice. Breathe.