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Courtesy of Google images

Courtesy of Google images

After a long, fun-filled weekend of eating out, celebrating, and relaxing, it was hard to get back to the grind. 

With the grueling work week, weekends are a time to be gluttonous in doing the things you want. By the end of the weekend, a daily work routine is hard to get back into. It seems like it would just be easier not to fall out of it.

It makes you realize everything is better in moderation. I pondered this on my walk to yoga after what seemed like an eternal day at Untied, and fittingly enough the day’s practice was dedicated to the yama (the ethical teaching about restraint) brahmacharya, which translates movement to the Lord and is about practicing moderation to direct one’s energy to growth and transformation.

To achieve brahmacharya, a balanced lifestyle including moderation in diet, relationships, you time, and even the breath is in order.

I have touched on the importance of being conscious of the breath before, so here are some different yoga breaths that can help oxygenate and rejuvenate the body by getting new energy to flow into the body. 

Ohm: What we start each class doing. Take a deep inhale in and on the exhale say “Ahhh-Ohhhh-Mmmm.” Humming the last “m” part. Do this slowly and try for a long, full exhale.

Lion’s breath: Take a deep inhale and on the exhale open the mouth wide, stick out the tongue, and make a roar sound. Don’t be shy — you’ll be surprised at how good it will feel to let it all out.

For an extended version of this breath. Sit on your knees or comfortably fold the legs, close the mouth, breath in and out by pushing the lungs in on the exhale. All you really need to do is focus on the exhale — the inhale will come naturally. 

Pranayam: A little more complicated breath. It is very important to focus only on the breath here, and feel it coming in and down your body.

1. Sit in a cross legged position, back straight. Take the left hand, touch your index and thumb fingers together, and place it on your knee.

2. Take your right hand, bring it up to your nostrils. Put your thumb by your right nostril and your pinky and ring fingers by your left. 

3. Cover your left nostril with your pinky and ring finger. Inhale through your right nostril. 

4. Cover your right nostril with your thumb. Hold the breath and feel it move down your body.

5. Lift your fingers off your left nostril and exhale.

6. Inhale through the left nostril this time, cover, and exhale through the right.

7. Repeat. Continue for five minutes or however long you can handle it.  

You should feel relaxed and clear headed after these breathing reps — you’ll probably even get a little yoga high.

Yoga high: 1.5

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