Yoga at the Virtual Dojo

Some of you may still not realize the American Cane System added Yoga classes in the schedule. Once I thought I was rather good at breathing. In a recent conversation with Grandmaster Shuey, I think I remarked that a day didn’t go by in which I didn’t breathe several times. Then Grandmaster Mark Shuey explained the proper way to execute deep yoga breathing.  I began to realize how much I had to learn about breathing and yoga.

Yoga Sessions Including Deep Breathing
Yoga Sessions Including Deep Breathing

Deep Breathing

Proper breathing, the deep abdominal kind, promotes full oxygen exchange. It is important because the trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide has a profound effect on the body. Deep Abdominal breathing, according to a Harvard article, can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure. Lower stress levels follow and pretty soon you’re feeling amazingly better.

For most of us deep breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, seems unnatural. Part of that is cultural impact on our body image. Most of us want to have flat stomachs. Our culture promotes flat stomachs as attractive, but holding those muscles interferes with deep breathing. Shallow breathing becomes our default method of oxygen exchange, but the exchange is hampered. The whole situation only raised tension and anxiety.

After Pneumonia or COVID-19

Some people who had COVID-19 or other pneumonia, whether early in 2020 or recently, have lingering lung issues. Give yourself a little test. Take a normal breath. Next, from your abdomen, try to take a deep breath slowly and hold it for a five seconds before slowly exhaling.  Can you do that without coughing? If the cough is still with you after two weeks, medical experts recommend you see your doctor. Meanwhile, there are exercises that can help clear the lungs of irritants and mucus still deep in your lung tissue. Instead of taking a cough suppressant, try the deep breathing session and be ready to cough gunk out of your system. You might be surprised by how much easier deep breathing becomes, as you practice it.

The Natural Progression in Yoga

The practice of yoga is an ancient one, offering wisdom and wellness, and breathing is an important part of it. As students progress through the classes, Grandmaster Mark Shuey will take students through grounding, warmup, balance, breathing and postures. There is a purpose to each step and benefits to gain from each. Because Grandmaster Shuey is using the virtual dojo to teach yoga classes, there are some steps you should take to enhance your own experience.

Create a Space for Sessions

Find a place in your home where you won’t be distracted. It must have sufficient room to move around and a place to plug in your laptop or monitor so you can stream the classes. By choosing a space where you only practice yoga, you can limit distractions. Be ready to put your social tools on Do not Disturb (DND) so texts, emails, and social notifications won’t disturb your Yoga session.

Calm Your Mind

Now that you put your devices on DND, you can work on calming your mind. Being centered, or grounded not only helps you focus on yoga, but it also helps lower your stress and blood pressure.

Easy Does It

Approach the poses and techniques gently. You will still enjoy a good workout, even with gentle yoga stretches, poses and techniques you practice. For decades, Grandmaster Shuey has conducted these sessions. For GM Shuey, the safety of his participants comes first, regardless of age or mobility. As he teaches yoga, he does so with the participants’ mobility issues in mind, so make sure you share any limitation you feel could make a difference in how you practice yoga.

If You’re looking for a live yoga class you can attend in your own home, with real people, not models in it, you will love TACS yoga series. Join thousands of other American Cane System followers trained in yoga and self-defense by calling Grand Cane Master Mark Shuey at (775) 772-9471. Mark can give you the hours and access information for the Virtual Dojo or information on his training videos.