Suffolk yoga instructor’s top moves for improving your breathing

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 - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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 syste

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

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 Fairbrother

Start in this seated position Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

Now come into a gentle twist. Keep the spine tall, keep your sitting bones firm to the ground and ge

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 Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

Keep breathing mindfully into your belly and your ribs and the top of your lungs Picture: Juli

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

Bring the soles of your feet together and let your body relax forward. Take deep breaths into your b

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 Fairbrother - Credit: Archant


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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 Fairbrother

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

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

Stretch up tall onto tiptoes. Keep gaze fixed for balance Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

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

Swing arms back and exhale fully through the mouth Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

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

Balancing on left leg, lift right leg high Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

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

Step right leg back into warrior one pose Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

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

Take the arms to the side for Warrrior two pose Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

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

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

Bring left elbow to knee and stretch into right fingertips, breathe fully into the right side of you

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

For more information visit suffolkyoga.co.uk.

Back to warrior two, then turn to face forwards Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Back to warrior two, then turn to face forwards Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

Drop the right knee, engage the core and step forward with a big inhale Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Drop the right knee, engage the core and step forward with a big inhale Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

Move into into warrior three. Fix your gaze, keep the core strong Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Move into into warrior three. Fix your gaze, keep the core strong Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

Finish in a comfortable standing position Picture: Julia Fairbrother

Finish in a comfortable standing position Picture: Julia Fairbrother - Credit: Archant

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