Suffolk yoga instructor’s top moves for improving your breathing
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Julia Fairbrother’s techniques are an ideal way to strengthen your lungs, reduce stress and improve wellbeing.
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.
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.
For more information visit suffolkyoga.co.uk.