Hillary and I during a Yoga Teacher Training in 2012.
The focus this evening was on the heart chakra; the heart center of each persons' body. Hillary walked the class through poses that opened the upper torso, ribcage, shoulders, and neck, allowing everyone to connect more closely and intimately with their inner heartbeat, their inner self.
We opened and closed practice with kumbhaka pranayama, or a form of breathe retention. Kumbhaka breathing allows the blood chemistry to return to normalcy, relaxing the mind and heart rate. And, reserves of prana, or living breathe, and oxygen are drawn out from other regions of your body that are not otherwise accessed. Kumbhaka breathing allows your mind and body to connect to a state of ease. Next time you're experiencing feelings of anxiety or need to come back to your center, try a few moments of pranayama and see how you feel.
Thank you to Hillary for reintroducing Kumbhaka back into my life and the subtle reminder to always breathe from the heart.