In biology I learned that we need oxygen, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is a waste product of respiration (and if you’re feeling generous, to exhale over a plant). There’s a bit more to it than that though. We need a constant source of CO2. Think of the inhale as receiving oxygen molecules, and they're little passengers getting on a bus. The bus travels around your body, and makes its first stop to drop off some passengers. CO2 is like the bus conductor who opens the door. Without that, the doors stay closed and the oxygen can’t move around freely.
Rapid or big breathing can deplete CO2 stores, leading to the body being less oxygenated. Less oxygenated bodies and minds, feel tired, lethargic, foggy and heavy.
CO2 (the bus conductor) is primarily produced through metabolism, which increases with exercise or physical movement like yoga. When we move very little and breath very heavily (as is the case for many people, so if this sounds like you... you're in good company), we produce less CO2. Poorly oxygenated muscles feel fatigued and tense, making exercise less appealing. And if the exercise we initially choose is high intensity, we might feel gased out very quickly.
Over the next four weeks of class you’re going to learn to breathe properly. You’re going to move and generate CO2 conductors to help fling open the doors of the buses.
Outside of our class, you’ll find you’ll yawn less (which messes up the bus schedule). You’ll sleep better. You’ll have all the energy you need for your activities and your mind will feel shaper.
CO2 isn't a waste, it's essential. The price of feeling better from breathing right, is so unbelievably cheap, and the price of not, is costly. What you learn these next four weeks is yours to keep.