Yoga therapist and teacher Tianne Allan (photo from yogatianne.com)
Don’t hold your breath. Breath is life, and each breath we take optimizes our health. This is what I learned at Jewish Seniors Alliance’s third empowerment session – Discover the Power of Your Breath – which was held on May 4.
Gyda Chud, co-president of JSA, welcomed the 75 Zoom participants, explaining that the overarching theme for the empowerment series is “Be Inspired.”
Fran Goldberg introduced the speaker – yoga therapist and teacher Tianne Allan, who was involved for two decades in the world of aquatics and high-performance athletics. After a car accident, her yoga practice became her pathway to healing, both physically and emotionally. She now specializes in pain care and in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
Allan guided the group in movement – breathing while opening the arms and bringing them back to the chest. She explained that the foundation of our breath is comprised of three steps:
1. Sit up straight and breathe through your nose.
2. Low and slow, take a breath down into your belly.
3. Smooth and steady, inhale and exhale.
Other types of breathing are the relaxation breath, where you sit back, relax and exhale with a sound; and the humming breath, to relieve anxiety, where you inhale through the nose and exhale through a hum.
Correct breathing can also help ease pain, Allan explained. And it can help us sleep better. The sleep exercise involved imagining ourselves looking through the ceiling to the blue sky and letting the sun fill our bodies with warmth. This exercise actually lulled some of us to sleep.
Shanie Levin thanked Allan for getting us involved in using our bodies and minds, and reminded the audience of the JSA’s next Empowerment Series session, on June 28, featuring Libby Yu, a classical pianist.
For more information on Allan, see yogatianne.com.
Tamara Frankel is a member of the board of Jewish Seniors Alliance and of the editorial committee of Senior Line magazine. She is also a board member of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver.