Carbon dioxid or the secret of the situps

I wrote this post yesterday before I went to class, and during class (as it was the 2:nd after some weeks away from the mat) I really concentrated on breating as I knew it would be a tough class.


In yesterdays class there was some first timers that after class complained about the shortness of breath and feeling like it was not enough oxygen in the room. As I know that there is plenty of oxygen in the yoga-room and if one just breaths properly there is no need for those feelings.

As I spoke with them and told them that it was not the shortnes of oxygen it is the higher levels of Carbon dioxid in there bodies that cause this reaction. Then I was thinking about what happens when diving and you get raised carbon dioxid levels in the body.

When diving you are under pressure, at surface we have approx 1 bar pressure (1000 HPa) (differs with the low- and high-pressures going around). On 10 meters depth the pressure is 2 bar (the double). The higher pressure makes every gas related issue even more notifiyable.
When breathing through a regulator that does not give gas easily and doing heavy work at the same time (swimming against the current or doing labor) creates what we call a carbon dioxid hit.
A carbon dioxid hit is not a pleasant feeling, shortness of breath, feeling that you can’t get enough air and if it is more severe it can turn into panic as of the feeling of lack of air and at the same time being in the water. The cure is to stop all activity and breathe long and slow breaths and abort the dive.

While doing yoga and not exhaling the carbon dioxid properly the same feelings arise. I think that every one of us has had this feeling at least once in the yoga-room. This is why it is so important to breathe properly.

If you look at this picture taken from wikipedia you can see some of the symptoms that we can see in the yoga-room.

The cure is to stop activity and start breathing and see to exhale properly.


Exhaling is the key and when I came to the situps with its strong exhales it was like the lightening stroke me. Exhaling forcefully! Carbon dioxid out! The situps are important to keep and gain the energy during class but never understood why. This is why!

During every situp I exhaled like life was dependent on it and even though my body was tired and screaming I had the energy to do the next posture.

Then in the final Kapalabati breathing the lightening stroke again. Exhale, exhale, exhale. So important! Again out with all the old carbon dioxid, to feel fresh and renowed after class.


About ahappyyogi

A yogini with a great interest in sailing.
This entry was posted in Birkam yoga, Thinking. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carbon dioxid or the secret of the situps

  1. As my teachers like to say, “Breathe and you’re OK!” It’s so, so true.

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