Your breath stinks. But not literally. What we are talking about when we say “bad breath” is a breath that is not connected to the present moment.

We’ve all experienced bad breath at one point or another in our lives: breathing too quickly, holding our breath, or forcing unnatural deep breath.

Here we explore 3 common areas where bad breath can creep up on us and how we can freshen it up. 

In Yoga

Bad breath can arise when we have gone past our edge and are holding on for dear life, striving for that “ideal expression” of the posture. Maybe you’ve caught yourself holding your breath in Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) or panting in Chair Pose (Utkatasana). It's those moments where over exerting our physical body pushes the limits of our breath and our ability to stay present and focused in our practice.

Your fresh breath fix

When you’ve caught yourself holding your breath, or panting like a cute little puppy dog — back off. Start to come out of the pose. Do so until you find ease in your inhale and exhale breath. Find your own expression of the posture. That’s where the magic happens.

In meditation

Bad breath can arise when we’re working to relax and reflect in meditation. When working to consciously lengthen our inhale and exhale, and trying to breathe like BKS Iyengar (he took only 4 – 6 breaths a minute!), you may over extend your lung capacity and find yourself gasping for air. If you’ve ever felt lightheaded while sitting in your meditation or experienced yourself forcing an inhale after a long exhale, you may be in need of deep breathing freshen-up.

Your fresh breath fix

If the length if your inhales and exhales becomes uneven, release the breath pattern you’re working in and allow your breathing to normalize. Let go of a certain number of breaths per minute being ‘meditative’. It’s not the length of the breath – but the quality that matters. Find a pace and flow for your breath that encourages depth yet is not forced in any way.

In everyday life

It can happen when you see an email you’ve been anticipating arrive: tightness in the chest, shoulders creeping up next to your ears, your breath becoming short and shallow. Stress responses in the body can cause our breathing to elevate in tempo as we respond to adrenaline beginning to move throughout us. It's these situations that can leave us panting.

Your fresh breath fix

If your heart is racing and your pulse is throbbing – stop. Take a deep, long inhale and slowly release the breath. Find your feet: connect with the earth and remind yourself where you are. Place a hand on your stomach or your heart. Repeat a deep breath cycle as many times as needed to feel yourself come back into your natural rhythm of breathing. Then, consider your priorities, choose your next move, and go forth – grounded and breathing smoothly.

It doesn't have to be in a yoga class, in meditation or during a crazy stress-response for us to check in with our breath. Listening to and feeling our breath in our bodies can happen at any moment – and can be a sweet indicator of how we’re navigating life’s sweet ups and downs.


Interested in learning more about good breath and breathing exercises that you can incorporate in to your practice? Watch our Vayu videos on our YouTube channel. www.youtube.com/malacollective

Posted by Ashley Wray on

You Might Also Like