Breath As A Vehicle: Using Ujjayi to Quiet the Mind

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014


As a beginner to yoga many years ago, I had no concept of synching breath with movement. My breath was a disembodied vehicle to supply oxygen to my physical body, allowing it to move.

It was not a synchronized event. It was only when I started doing yoga more regularly, learning how to practice Ujjayi breath and even later, when I started a Mysore practice, that I learned the power of synchronizing breath to movement.

As I watched her, I became aware of how slow, methodical and controlled each movement was, and how there was not one action that did not appear to be completely conscious and mindful.

The turning point in my thinking around breath and movement happened during my first good108 – goodyoga’s fund raising event where participants perform 108 sun salutations to raise money for a family in Kolkata, India. As each one of us finished, we would sit on our mat and cheer on the remaining participants, encouraging them to reach the final number of 108. The last person to finish was a long-time teacher at goodyoga, and we all helped her along, counting out each number with excitement as she arrived back to the top of her mat at the end of a series.

As I watched her, I became aware of how slow, methodical and controlled each movement was, and how there was not one action that did not appear to be completely conscious and mindful. I felt myself relaxing into the predictable, rhythmic pattern of each sun salutation she performed, seeing the sequence in a whole new way. It took her 20 minutes longer than the rest of us to complete all 108, but it was at that moment when I realized that the quality and energy one can infuse in each sun salutation is completely dependent on the synchronization of movement to breath.


For the experienced yogi, controlled breath allows you to engage the bandhas, muscle regions within the body that are locked or tightened, which allows practitioners to float in and out of asanas, steady their breath for long periods of time and manage new positions.

At a more simplistic level, controlled breath allows you to slow down, relieve your parasympathetic nervous system and quiet your busy mind. Science has also confirmed that controlled breath is beneficial. A study released a few years ago by Hindawi Publishing Corporation states:

“Ujjayi resistance breathing, a breathing practice taught by the yogic tradition, reduces airflow, and during expiration it increases the intrathoracic pressure due to a slight contraction of the glottis muscles, potentially resulting in intensified vagal activity. The increase in expiratory intra-thoracic pressure should also enhance oxygen absorption above what is found in slow breathing, potentially elevating blood pressure levels more than with slow breathing alone and inducing greater BRS. Lastly, ujjayi breathing facilitates greater control over airflow and, therefore, breath rate. Consequently, ujjayi may be a more effective method than slow breathing on its own as a means to achieve five breaths per minute for the average person who tends to breathe at 12–18 breath.”

Note that the study states 5 breaths per minute vs. the average person who tends to take 12-18 breaths. That is an incredible difference and a great opportunity to realize the power you can have over your body by simply maintaining a controlled breath!

In each class I take, assist and soon teach, my goal is to be mindful first and foremost of my breath, and simply let my mind and body follow.

goodbaby Ferdinand!

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014


Congratulations, Marie-Louise, on the birth of your healthy, baby boy, Ferdinand!

We can’t wait for our goodplay and goodkids classes in April! Till then, soak in the precious moments! May you make a million discoveries together.

goodcommunity classes

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014


We’ve added $10 good community classes

goodcommunity classes are taught by our good300 apprentice teachers, 200 hour certified teachers continuing their advanced certification with goodyoga. Members are welcome to attend goodcommunity classes at no extra cost. If using the goodyoga app, please purchase the goodcommunity option, not the goodone, if dropping in.

goodcommunity payment options are only applicable to to goodcommunity classes.

goodyoga also offers an hour for hour work exchange program, the good1:1, so you can earn hours for all classes, workshops and teacher trainings.


Posted by on Feb 19, 2014

International Airport Board Close-Up with Cancelled Flights

Classes have been filling up.

Please remember to reserve online and cancel if you can’t make it. Many popular class times, like evenings and weekends, have folks on the wait list. When you cancel, they are automatically added to the class and an email notifies them that they can attend.

The earlier you cancel, the more notice they have to adjust their plans.

Drop in’s and x10′s will be charged for no shows.

Members are not penalized for cancellations, but instant karma may just get you! You may find yourself on the wait list …


Posted by on Feb 17, 2014

An oldie but a goodie!

The World’s Best (Unaltered) Photos

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

The World’s Best (Unaltered) Photos.

Yoga is the practice of being in completely present from moment to moment.

So is photography.

Thank god I’ve never been in some of these moments…

goodburg: 358 Graham Ave…APRIL

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014


Sorry folks. We were told the contracts were signed, checks were cashed and we could announce. Bummer. is living up to it’s reputation.

“I spoke to frank from real estate office and I just informed him unfortunately I will have to hold off signing the lease and renting upstairs until I am completely done with my expansion. The buildings department is very difficult to deal with. My lawyer and architect advise me not to rent upstairs until I am complete , it can create a problem. I apologize for all this and I know you have a lot going on. I wanted you guys as a tenant but I cannot take this chance until I am complete and all signed off.



goodburg: April 1st, 2014

358 Graham Avenue
@ the L train
above Carmine’s Pizza

Free Class at goodpoint or goodwick
$600 annual memberships
when purchased pre-opening
for NEW students with proof of address that is:
East of Humboldt / South of Driggs / North of Grand / to East River

Infographics | This blog has moved!

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

Infographics | This blog has moved!.

Alison Hinks created the best yoga infographics. Done.

goodtrip: Vargas, BC July 12th – August 15th, 2014

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014


Jacob and Rebekah have committed to a week each during our goodyoga’s monthlong residency on a barely inhabited island off the coast of Vancouver.

Drop by for a week of R&R at anytime, join the g101 for the 1st 2 weeks or stay for the entire g200 teacher training.

The Japanese Cedar Wood Burning Sauna, phosphorescent waters filled with whales, otter and porpoises, pink moss and an indigenous wolf pack await you, not to mention bald eagles, spectacular sunrises and morning meditations by the fireplace.

Optional excursions to a natural hot springs, kayaking, hiking and surfing are available.

$4500 includes room, board and full g200 tuition.

$1500 for 7 night goodtrips

Deadline is March 30th.

A little piece of perfect. Watch this space for details.


Post Flood February

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014

February is still pleasantly packed following the January floods both of new students and actual water.


To accommodate our antediluvian community, we have added more classes at 4.30p, 6p and 9p at both studios.

g300 Teaching Assistants teach $10 goodcommunity, a significant discount, weekly at each location. Check the schedule for updates. Members may attend goodcommunity classes at no extra cost.

We have maintained our intimate student teacher ratio despite tripling our class sizes. All primetime classes that consistently accommodate more than 15 students will be assisted by 1-3 by our Teaching Apprentices.

goodyoga’s faculty are all certified at 500 hour level or currently pursuing their g300 advanced certifications. 200 hours is the minimum that most studios require.

Please help us streamline service by cancelling for classes you have reserved but will not be able to attend. The app makes this very easy.Students are often wait listed when we would have been able to accommodate them easily. goodone and goodonex10 absences will be charged the full cost of the class. Members will be charged $5 for each offense following their first, which will result in a warning.

Our commitment to higher education for all goodyoga students has nurtured a thriving advanced education program, including the g101 for all students interested in learning more about Asana and the Philosophy surrounding it. The g200 is the next step, where we address specialized topics like Injury Prevention and Healing, Natal and Family Practice, Advanced Philosophical Texts and, finally, Teaching Methodology. The Spring Semester for both begins March 22nd, 2014 at goodpoint. Check here for early registration discounts and incentives.

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