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Yogis: hold your breath

THE GIST:

In yoga classes, you're told to breathe in and out of your nose and to “move with your breath.” But as you shift into twists and bends, you should always hold the air in.

EXPERT INSIGHT:

Breathing creates movement in the body. That’s fine during most activities such as running and cycling, but when you’re transitioning in and out of deep asanas your core should stay still, says Nadia Zaki, a yoga instructor at Equinox locations in New York City.

Instead of breathing through every step of twists and bends, she advises only moving post-inhale, with a belly full of air. This puts pressure against the abdomen, which maximizes stability and minimizes injury risk.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

When you flow into poses such as King Pigeon and Supine Twist, inhale first, hold your breath as you twist or bend, then exhale only once you’re in position. Breathe normally while you hold the posture, then mimic the sequence (inhale, hold, exhale) as you come out of it.

Photo: Reno Mezger / Blaublut-Edition.com