Comments

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Pilar Barroso

Excellent article... Thank you Sarah!!

Maxine

..'we experience suffering when we think something should be other than what it is' ...that's the nub of it - yes!
I am learning to live with this simple truth - on and off the mat!
thankyou

Priya

I have the same problem but with contemplation, trial and error i'm learning that the suffocation happens with trying to control the breath or trying to fit it in a ratio.Its accompanied by a feeling like anxiety or self-consciousness like everyones looking at me.You have to do 3 things to get deep breathing right 1.forget the 4:8 ratio ,dont force it .your capacity is your capacity .forcing it is cheating it.accept yourself the way u are. 2.Ease your breath. Let the air enter your body as gently as possible. u should hardly feel it and there should be no hissing sound as the air goes in.make sure u dont tense your face or your throat. When your stomach blows out the air fills in automatically. 3.Let go all self consciousness and emotions.be aware of your thoughts first, you may be imagining yourself in your head and how u look while meditating and tense up.For me i was self conscious of a slight double chin I have and tensing my neck to look less ugly. The secret however is forgeting you have a body and blanking your mind.Your real identily according to yoga is neither your body nor your mind but something higher.As i read somewhere as soon as you can disregard the image u see in the mirror u have taken the next step.Just say to heck
with what I look like I am what I am and ease out. Also notice your heart ,does this area feel heavy, are there feelings of sadness or depression? let go of the images that create and preceed these feelings and all self expectations. Deep breathing is about letting go and becomes vice versa. Hope i helped, good luck!

Priya

I have the same problem but with contemplation, trial and error i'm learning that the suffocation happens with trying to control the breath or trying to fit it in a ratio.Its accompanied by a feeling like anxiety or self-consciousness like everyones looking at me.You have to do 3 things to get deep breathing right 1.forget the 4:8 ratio ,dont force it .your capacity is your capacity .forcing it is cheating it.accept yourself the way u are. 2.Ease your breath. Let the air enter your body as gently as possible. u should hardly feel it and there should be no hissing sound as the air goes in.make sure u dont tense your face or your throat. When your stomach blows out the air fills in automatically. 3.Let go all self consciousness and emotions.be aware of your thoughts first, you may be imagining yourself in your head and how u look while meditating and tense up.For me i was self conscious of a slight double chin I have and tensing my neck to look less ugly. The secret however is forgeting you have a body and blanking your mind.Your real identily according to yoga is neither your body nor your mind but something higher.As i read somewhere as soon as you can disregard the image u see in the mirror u have taken the next step.Just say to heck
with what I look like I am what I am and ease out. Also notice your heart ,does this area feel heavy, are there feelings of sadness or depression? let go of the images that create and preceed these feelings and all self expectations. Deep breathing is about letting go and becomes vice versa. Hope i helped, good luck!

Dawn

Well, after my 10 day mindfulness course & attempts to practice what your advice says, I have developed stronger and stronger panic attacks. I feel your advice is dismissive, and doesn't recognize that 'body monitoring' is often the reason panic attacks start. This is a mental disorder you are giving advice to, do you have understanding of mental disorders?

For me, I find an external focus is better for my mindfulness practice than internal focuses. The internal focus brings me to an 'out of control' place (anxiety to the point of vomiting) where as, the external focus (in my case a ball) allows me to disengage with my thoughts & not delve into panic, while still allowing me to focus on sensations, beginning with the ball and following through to where the touch sensation leads. I hope that helps anyone else dealing with this issue as well - you are not the only one!

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