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Suffolk yoga instructor’s top moves for improving your breathing

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:57 14 May 2020

Yoga can help you keep mentally and physically healthy     Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Yoga can help you keep mentally and physically healthy Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Julia Fairbrother’s techniques are an ideal way to strengthen your lungs, reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

Julia Fairbrother from Suffolk Yoga shares some yoga moves that will optimise your respiratory system     Picture: Julia FairbrotherJulia Fairbrother from Suffolk Yoga shares some yoga moves that will optimise your respiratory system Picture: Julia Fairbrother

In this new reality of ours, it’s more important than ever to stay fit and healthy – both mentally and physically – and many people are turning to yoga to do so. Regular yoga practice can improve flexibility, mobility and balance, as well as reducing stress hormones and helping us to focus on the present moment. Certain exercises have also been linked to optimising respiratory functions, which is especially useful as COVID-19 can affect breathing.

Julia Fairbrother, owner of Suffolk Yoga, has recently moved her classes online to ensure she can still reach her regular members, whilst still being able to welcome new faces. Julia says: “We are working hard to promote a healthy respiratory system in our virtual classes with breathing techniques to ensure we keep our bodies healthy and our minds calm and positive. Observing our breathing, naturally slows the breath, relaxes the body and calms the mind.”

Julia has been running Suffolk Yoga in Ipswich for two and a half years and was looking forward to launching a newly renovated yoga studio and wellness centre in Sorrel Horse Mews, off Grimwade Street just before the lockdown was announced. Although Julia’s plans have been put on hold, she has that been thrilled by the response she has received from her online classes. Julia says: “Overnight we went online, adjusted our schedule and continued to offer our classes virtually. We are so grateful for the support we are receiving from our community and delighted to be able to ‘give back’ offering free yoga to our clients who are struggling financially and offering our classes at a discounted online rate.” Suffolk Yoga is also offering children’s yoga, gentle yoga as well as our normal varied classes, while also supporting schools such as Northgate and Copleston High School to support their pupils during this uncertain time.

Julia’s top moves to improve your respiratory system. To start, try this breathing technique to increase awareness of posture and your breath. This can be done in a chair or sitting on the floor whichever is more comfortable for you. Sit firm into your sitting bones and let your spine be tall. Imagine the crown of you head stretching up to the sky. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Begin by noticing everything about your breath. Notice the breath in through your nostrils, notice the cool air as you breathe in and the warm air as you breathe out. Notice if you feel any movement in the shoulders, chest, back or belly as your breathing continues. Continue watching for 10 more breaths. Perhaps your breath has naturally slowed down? Slowing the breath is a natural stress reducer. It may take practice and patience but keep going.

Start in this seated position     Picture: Julia FairbrotherStart in this seated position Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Now come into a gentle twist. Keep the spine tall, keep your sitting bones firm to the ground and gently twist round to look over your right shoulder      Picture: Julia FairbrotherNow come into a gentle twist. Keep the spine tall, keep your sitting bones firm to the ground and gently twist round to look over your right shoulder Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Keep breathing mindfully into your belly and your ribs and the top of your lungs       Picture: Julia FairbrotherKeep breathing mindfully into your belly and your ribs and the top of your lungs Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Bring the soles of your feet together and let your body relax forward. Take deep breaths into your back to access the back of your lungs     Picture: Julia FairbrotherBring the soles of your feet together and let your body relax forward. Take deep breaths into your back to access the back of your lungs Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Try this Warrior sequence at home to keep strong and healthy and improve your balance and focus. Breathe in a relaxed slow deep way throughout.

Move to the mountain pose. Stand tall and relax your shoulders  Picture: Julia FairbrotherMove to the mountain pose. Stand tall and relax your shoulders Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Stretch up tall onto tiptoes. Keep gaze fixed for balance        Picture: Julia FairbrotherStretch up tall onto tiptoes. Keep gaze fixed for balance Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Swing arms back and exhale fully through the mouth   Picture: Julia FairbrotherSwing arms back and exhale fully through the mouth Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Balancing on left leg, lift right leg high         Picture: Julia FairbrotherBalancing on left leg, lift right leg high Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Step right leg back into warrior one pose     Picture: Julia FairbrotherStep right leg back into warrior one pose Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Take the arms to the side for Warrrior  two pose     Picture: Julia FairbrotherTake the arms to the side for Warrrior two pose Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Stretch back to reverse warrior and breathe deeply into the belly and ribs    Picture: Julia FairbrotherStretch back to reverse warrior and breathe deeply into the belly and ribs Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Bring left elbow to knee and stretch into right fingertips, breathe fully into the right side of your body    Picture: Julia FairbrotherBring left elbow to knee and stretch into right fingertips, breathe fully into the right side of your body Picture: Julia Fairbrother

For more information visit suffolkyoga.co.uk.


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