Dear Yoga Students and Aspirants:

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer, and continuing your Yoga practice. Following is my schedule of offerings for the next two months:

In Islandia Yoga Studio:

Private instruction by appointment.

NOTE: First class for Hauppauge Adult Ed Fall Session as follows:

8 week course, ending on Monday night, December 1. If you live in Hauppauge District you will get a brochure in the mail, if not, to register you must call 631-761-8319.

COLUMBUS DAY - NO ADULT ED CLASSES. However, I am offering a YOGA DAY- INTENSIVE - FROM 10 AM TO 3 PM. Two hours of Yoga, 20 minutes meditation, Vegetarian Buffet prepared by me, and Yoga Networking with other Yoginis. If interested, call me - 348-7199 to register in advance - I already have two people on the list -- remember, it is limited space. $50. for the day.


At the urging of some of my students, I finally produced a CD of my class. It runs for 80 minutes. Let me know if interested-$20.



If you or someone you know is interested, let me know. We need 5 students to start a class.

In closing, I wish you good health, good times and good friends,

Grace (Durga)

Following is a Reprint of an article I wrote on the subject of Yogic BREATHING, published in "Selected Breathing Masterclasses" from the Editors of WINDPLAYER, a publication for professional horn players.

Deep Breathing

Aside from using your breath to play an instrument, the practice of yogic breathing is physically beneficial to a performer. If you learn to breathe deeply and slowly when you inhale, you're thoroughly oxygenating your blood and flooding your body with good fuel from outside, as long as the air is clean. This will result in greater health and energy as well as better relaxation.

Many people are oxygen-starved because they breathe too shallowly, resulting in fatigue and low resistance to disease. Often this arises from expanding the chest rather than the abdomen while breathing. When you do that, you can't get enough air into your lungs.

Abdominal breathing, or deep breathing, means letting your abdomen expand when you inhale, which lowers your diaphragm--the muscle just below your lungs. The lower your diaphragm goes, the more room your lungs have to expand with air.

Proper yogic breathing is meant to help you breathe fully and rhythmically, making use of all, not just part of your lungs. All breathing in yoga is done through the nose, with the lips softly together. This way the air is filtered through the cilia in your nostrils.

To practice deep breathing at home, try the following exercise:

  1. Sit or lie down faceup on the floor with your spine straight. You should be wearing loose clothing that won't restrict your waist or chest.
  2. Place your hands gently over your abdomen, with the middle fingers touching directly over your navel.
  3. Breathe in slowly. As you inhale, use your abdominal muscles to push your belly way up. This brings the diaphragm way down, opening up more room for air to fill your lungs. If you are inhaling correctly, your fingertips will separate over your navel as your abdomen rises. You should always breathe abdominally. That's the way babies breathe. It's the most efficient way to get the maximum amount of oxygen.
  4. As you fill up your lungs, you can feel your rib cage start to open. As you fill the upper lobes of your lungs, you'll feel the pressure under your collarbone. This is the kind of deep, full breathing that you get by running around the block several times.
  5. So, you're fully inflated. Now let the air out slowly, with control. You don't want big gushes of air. As you exhale, your abdomen contracts. The tips of your fingers should slowly come together again and touch.
  6. Empty your lungs completely, bringing your abdomen back in. Starting from the top and working down, gently push down and depress your abdominal muscles until you can't squeeze any more air out.
  7. Repeat the process for several minutes.
When you practice deep breathing, you will increase your lung capacity. You can count how long it takes you to fill your lungs and then how long it takes to completely empty them, and try for an extra one or two seconds the next time you go through the exercise. Because even though you think you've expelled everything, there's always a little bit left over. The longer you can exhale, the deeper your relaxation will be.

One technique which most yoga classes include is alternate nostril breathing. In Sanskrit, it's called analoma viloma. In analoma viloma, the air is held under pressure and then exhaled. Try the following:

  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair. Kepp your head and spine straight.
  2. Touch left index finger to left thumb in a circle, stretching out the other three fingers, resting the back of your left hand on your left knee. This is a classic yogic posture.
  3. Curl the index and middle fingers into the palm of your right hand, rest arm against side of body, bringing thumb of right hand up to cover the right nostril. Inhale through your left nostril to a count of four.
  4. Close off both nostrils, using the ring finger of the right hand against the left nostril, using only gentle pressure. Retain your breath for a count of 16.
  5. At the end of the 16 count, lift the thumb and exhale to a count of eight. Inhale on right to a count of four, retain, closing both nostrils. Hold to a count of 16, exhale left to a count of eight. You are exhaling more air than you brought in.
  6. Return to a relaxed position to begin again. Do five rounds.
With time and practice, you should increase your count to an inhale for five, hold for 20, exhale for 10.

Slowly, as you practice these techniques and deepen your breathing over time, you'll rid yourself of stress and fatigue and boost your energy and focus.

{end of article}