Final breathing helps to rid our bodies of excess carbon dioxide that may have been built up throughout our practice from shallow breathing and/or not completing a full exhale. It also helps the lungs prepare to breathe in new, fresh oxygen during final relaxation.
Sit with your hips on your heels and your knees touching side by side. Lengthen your arms so your hands/palms rest on your thighs. Use your abdominal strength and the length of your spine to sit upright with a long, elegant posture. Take a deep breath in.
Begin to snap the lower belly to the spine on each quick exhale. Just think of exhaling over and over again…the inhale will naturally find it’s place. Final breathing is a quick, forceful exhalation over and over again until you reach 60 repetitions. Exhale through your mouth to release the body of tension and to force as much air out as possible.
Final breathing is an opportunity to connect with our breath at the close of our practice, allowing us to come full circle from our opening breathing exercises. At this point of the class, we have effectively touched every muscle, bone, ligament, tendon, and organ of the body with highly oxygenated, nutrient-rich circulation. Aligning with our breath and giving our system one more push of exhale, allows us to create an environment for peace and tranquility in final relaxation. Getting rid of any excess carbon dioxide in the blood, ensures we can rest peacefully, as our body will breath itself naturally towards health and healing in final relaxation.
Spine twisting, in any method, and in any sequence, is highly detoxifying. We place the spine in a position so as to “rinse” the internal organs, the intervertebral discs, and the spinal column fluid from any impurities. The energy of twists help to neutralize the spine’s alignment from any remaining energy of back-bending and/or forward-bending postures.
Begin by sitting on your mat. Fold your left knee in front of you so that your left knee lines up with your navel. Your left foot is to the outside of your right hip.
Place your right foot to the outside of your left, folded knee. Your right knee should point straight to the ceiling. Square your hips in this position. If you cannot square both hips on the mat, then unfold your left leg and keep it straight.
Stretch your left arm up to the ceiling and begin to twist your body to the right, so that your left arm hooks outside the right knee and thigh. Grab your left knee with your left hand, so that the left knee, right foot, and left hand are all touching. Your right arm and hand can come to the floor behind you so that you can use this arm like a kickstand. Press your right hand/palm into the ground to help you stretch up through the spine and you twist further and further. Do not sink into your lower back! It is very important you maintain an erect and upright posture while twisting.
Spine twisting increases the blood flow to our spinal column as well as all other internal organs. Think of the wringing of a sponge and you’ll understand exactly how this posture works! As we release toxins and static energy from the spine and internal organs, we “reset” the energy of our central nervous system, allowing for our bodies to begin “anew.” As this is the final posture of the hot yoga sequence, it is important to finish with an energized, yet neutral tone to our bodies, minds, and spirits.