267: Thoughts on Belly Breathing with Shannon Crow
As human beings, we are always learning new information. Sometimes, this new information conflicts with our current beliefs or knowledge, so we need to be willing to dig in and explore this – and if we are wrong, to admit it and change our beliefs. This happened to Shannon Crow (she/her) with belly breathing.
You may have learned about the benefits of belly breathing in yoga class or yoga teacher training or even taught it to your students. However, it may not be the best practice for everyone. In this episode, Shannon reflects on how she came to change her views on belly breathing and how she now teaches breath to her students instead. She shares her own experiences as a yoga teacher and a yoga practitioner from what she has learned and then unlearned. If you have ever taught breathing in a yoga class, this episode is for you.
[3:14] Shannon introduces her topic for this episode and why she was inspired to share about it.
[4:58] Shannon shares a little about an upcoming online workshop she is hosting with OfferingTree.
[6:39] Shannon learned about belly breathing in yoga classes and in yoga teacher training. Eventually, she realized that what she knew or believed about belly breathing may not be correct.
“Something that we all need to embrace as yoga teachers is that we are responsible for how we’re guiding our students.” Shannon Crow
[8:54] The more research Shannon did into belly breathing, the worse she felt for teaching it the way she was. She reflects on how she felt at that time.
“The more research I did into this, the worst I felt for teaching the way I was teaching belly breathing.” Shannon Crow
[10:04] What happens when we take a breath? Where does the breath begin?
[13:24] What do we really mean when we say belly breathing?
[15:38] Some things associated with belly breathing can put additional pressure on the pelvic floor, and this may not be desirable for some people.
[20:46] We are always going to be learning new information, and as yoga teachers, we need to explore how we can move with grace to explain to our students why we have shifted certain things we teach.
“As long as I continue to listen and learn and grow as a human, I’m on the right track.” Shannon Crow
[23:28] What are your thoughts on belly breathing? Share them with Shannon!
Chart that shows what happens when we breathe:
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 247: Being Wrong is Part of Learning with Shannon Crow
- New Thoughts on Belly Breathing, by Shannon Crow (Article)
- OfferingTree Webinar: Clarify Your Offering with Shannon Crow
- What’s Up ‘Down There’? by Shannon Crow for Health Journal
- Trista Zinn
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Episode 069: Yoga with Pelvic Organ Prolapse with Dr. Sarah Duvall
- Yoga Teacher Conf
- Yoga Teacher Conf Live Stream (Code: SHANNONCROW)
- Scattered to Clarity Workshop
- Native Land Digital
- Shannon Crow on Instagram
- The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group
Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.
Great insight, thank you so much!
You are welcome Katie! Thanks for listening and taking the time to comment.
Thank you for this refreshing insight Shannon. First in my own practice and subsequently in my teaching, I have gone on a similar journey motivated by exactly what you discussed… a POP which I thought was stable and well supported. Turns out it wasn’t!! Now, like you I focus on the ribs. I often start a pranayama practice in a supine position and encourage students to explore ‘baby breathing’ that is to say , how does it feel when you focus on a relaxed waist and simply let your body do the work? I notice in my own practice that starting here often brings gentle movement into the abdomen without excessive pressure. Interestingly even when the breath is quite shallow this still occurs or there is a spontaneous deeper breath almost as if by stepping the executive mind out of the way the body has an opportunity to ask for a fuller breath for its own reasons.
Also thank you for acknowledging that place of uncertainty that can come with new learning. As teachers it can be tempting to stay embedded in certainty. Your reminder to stay present with our ongoing learning and maintaining a willingness to adapt and change our practice is a great reminder to stay connected with our ‘beginners mind’
With gratitude 🙏
Sharon! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience here. What a treat to read your words of support and encouragement as we learn together on this journey! I really appreciate also — you sharing your own experience with breath and with POP. Thanks for listening to this episode and for taking the time to comment.