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info@indiehot.co.za
082 924 2020
Open Monday – Sunday See Our Schedule

Standing Deep Breathing Pose

Pranayama Breathing
Bikram Posture 1 - Pranayama

Benefits:

  • Enhances lungs and ribcage increases lung capacity
  • Excellent exercise for diaphragmatic tone
  • Helps with mental relaxation, helps you become present
  • May help reduce high blood pressure
  • Relieves irritability
  • Good for cleansing
  • Exercises nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems

Tips:

  • Don’t snap your head back or forward
  • Slow your movement down
  • Coordinate your long breath with your movement
  • Maintain slight pressure of fingers against jaw and jaw against fingers, on both inhales and exhales
  • NEVER keep thumbs interlocked on the inhales. Allow them to drift apart, only keeping your fingers interlocked

Check that you:

  • Keep your elbows up the whole time (after your initial inhale)
  • Maintain consistent contact and slight reciprocal force of fingers against jaw and jaw against fingers
  • Keep your shoulders away from your ears. Shoulders down is the priority over elbow height

Half Moon Pose…

Arda-Chandrasana
Bikram Posture 2 - Arda-Chandrasana

Benefits:

  • Helps awaken and limber up the skeletal and muscular systems
  • Opens shoulder joints
  • Good for frozen shoulder
  • Reduces or eliminates pain in the lower back
  • Stretches the muscles in the torso
  • Trims and tones the abdomen
  • Improves and strengthens muscles in the central part of the body
  • Increases flexibility and strength of core, gluteal, deltoid and trapezius muscles
  • Increases flexibility of the spine
  • Tones the spinal nerves and abdominal organs improving the working of the bowels
  • Helps with sciatic problems
  • Alleviates anxiety and reduces mental stress
  • Movement encourages massage of many organs including colon, pancreas, kidneys
  • Improves respiratory tone and function
  • Firms and trims waistline, hips, abdomen, arms, buttocks and thighs

Tips:

  • Lift your chin parallel to the floor
  • Lift your breastbone so your chest stays open and breathing is easier
  • Relaxed neck and shoulders is far more important than straight locked out arms

Check that you:

  • Keep your shoulders away from your ears … always!

… With Hands to Feet Pose

… with Pada-Hastasana
Bikram Posture 2 - Pada Hastasana

Benefits:

  • Said to increase circulation to the brain and adrenal glands
  • Calms nervous system
  • May be good for depression
  • Great for massaging and toning abdominal organs, improving digestion
  • May help with diabetes and hyperacidity
  • Releases lower back
  • Opens hips and sacroiliac joints
  • Helps tone muscular, adrenal and reproductive systems
  • Abdominal contents are massaged and compressed by the spine, the legs and a muscular corset

Tips:

  • Try lifting your hips rather than the risky aim of simply straightening and locking out your legs
  • Never straighten the legs if it creates a space between your chest and thighs. Always keep your chest pressed against your thighs

Check that you:

  • Keep your elbows pointing backward behind you so that your biceps muscles are activated rather than the shoulders. Some people like the visualization of lifting the elbows upward
  • Relax your neck completely. Check neck engagement is free, by momentarily and imperceptibly nodding and shaking the head. Then let gravity take over and let your head hang

Awkward Pose

Utkatasana
Bikram Posture 3 - Utkatasana

Benefits:

  • Improves overall body strength and enhances core strength
  • Opens pelvis
  • Strengthens and tones leg muscles
  • Enhances back strength
  • Said to relieve menstrual cramping
  • Aligns skeletal system
  • Good for arthritis conditions
  • Good for digestion
  • Relieves joint pain
  • Relieves sciatica
  • Improves flexibility in ankles and toes
  • Massages abdominal organs including liver, intestines, and pancreas

Tips:

  • Part 1: Lift your toes
  • Part 2: Lift your torso to vertical in preference to coming down too low
  • Part 3: Lift your pelvic floor and squeeze knees

Check that you:

  • Engage your core at every opportunity
  • Part 3: Never settle, keep your legs active, try to hover above your heels without sitting

Eagle Pose

Garudasana
Bikram Posture 4 - Garudasana

Benefits:

  • Works into the major joints of the body appendages: Shoulders, elbows and wrists; Hips, knees and ankles
  • Good for central nervous system
  • Facilitates lymphatic function, improving immune system
  • Improves mobility of hip joints
  • Improves balance
  • Strengthens legs
  • Good for varicose veins

Tips:

  • To help with balance, focus on one spot directly ahead of you (in the mirror if you are using one) or, for a more powerful mediation, look into your own eyes with a soft focus
  • Work on symmetrical hip alignment, it’s far less confusing than shifting limbs this way and that!

Check that you:

  • Keep your chest up high at all times
  • Never lean forward to ‘sit down low’

Standing Head to Knee Pose

Dandayamana Janushirasana
Bikram Posture 5 - Dandayamana Janushirasana

Benefits:

  • Builds mental strength
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves core strength
  • Uses all major muscle groups
  • Exercises digestive and reproductive organs
  • Strengthens back muscles

Tips:

  • Lift your leg and engage your hip flexors BEFORE you round over to engage fingers under your foot
  • Always keep your lifted foot flexed

Check that you:

  • Keep your thumbs under your foot alongside your fingers. Relax them, they probably WON’T interlace. If they do, you probably have lots of tension and struggle in your pose
  • Are not rushing to “get” to the next or final part of the pose. Poise, deliberation and strength-building are key to this pose
  • Can breathe slowly and deeply while in the pose for better focus
  • Never let your lifted knee drop below your hip under any circumstances (especially crucial once you move out of ‘part 1’ and the leg extends). This seemingly insignificant action will protect your back from strain and damage

Standing Bow Pose

Dandayamana Dhanurasana
Bikram Posture 6 - Dandayamana Dhanurasana

Benefits:

  • Stimulates cardiovascular system
  • Increases circulation to heart and lungs
  • Opens diaphragm
  • Opens shoulder joint
  • Helps frozen shoulder conditions
  • Improves spine elasticity
  • Improves strength and balance
  • Reduces abdominal fat
  • Said to regulate ovaries and prostate gland

Tips:

  • Let the kick drive the pose. Stay upright to maintain your backbend as you kick your leg up and back behind you. The body will come down of its own accord without conscious thought

Check that you:

  • NEVER charge your body forward!
  • Let go of your back arm from the shoulder. Let the force of your kicking leg bring surrender and opening to that joint

Balancing Stick Pose

Tuladasana
Bikram Posture 7 - Tuladasana

Benefits:

  • Excellent cardiovascular pose. Can increase circulation to heart blood vessels
  • Said to have great cardiac benefit and possibly help prevent future cardiac problems
  • Creates a total spine stretch
  • Relieves stress from spine
  • Good for varicose veins
  • Builds strength in legs
  • Exercises pancreas, spleen, liver, nervous and circulatory system
  • Pose involves the use of traction to create space in the joints and spine

Tips:

  • Keep your chin away from your chest. Dropping it will create shoulder and neck tension
  • Look forward a couple of yards (meters) ahead (not down at your foot)!

Check that you:

  • Stay strong and plank-like even if it means you go no further than a few degrees off vertical. This pose only works if your arms, head, torso and legs are long and strong and in a straight line

Standing Separate Leg Intense

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana
Bikram Posture 8 - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana

Benefits:

  • Possibly increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands
  • Calms nervous system
  • May be good for depression
  • Good for constipation
  • Helps reduce abdominal obesity
  • May help with diabetes and hyperacidity
  • Releases lower back
  • Exercises muscular, adrenal and reproductive systems

Tips:

  • Work on the priority of a straight even arched spine rather than straight legs
  • Straight legs in combination with a rounded spine causes strain and back damage and can inflame sciatic and lower back conditions

Check that you:

  • Bend your elbows to touch your shins. If they don’t touch you are either stepping out too wide, or you need to bend your legs, or both! Fix it now and you will fix a ton of other problems in your whole practice.

Triangle Pose

Trikonasana
Bikram Posture 9 - Trikonasana

Benefits:

  • An excellent cardiovascular workout
  • Intensely stretches each side of the body
  • Opens and increases flexibility of hip joints
  • Strengthens, tones and firms hips, buttocks and legs
  • Good for kidneys, thyroid and adrenal glands
  • Opens shoulder joint, good for frozen shoulder
  • Helps regulate hormone levels
  • Works all muscular groups simultaneously
  • May help conditions of constipation, low blood pressure, spondylitis, and an assortment of systemic disorders

Tips:

  • Elbow to knee contact means a reciprocal action of knee pushing against elbow and elbow pushing against knee. When you have correct contact with correct knee position you will feel a good stretch across your pelvis
  • Do NOT touch the floor between the toes. Rather contact elbow to knee as your priority and never the upper arm. Point outstretched hand/fingers towards the smaller toes so that your knee is optimally placed and not collapsing inward

Check that you:

  • Lock your extended leg and are not just straightening it
  • Spread the weight evenly so that your center of gravity is at your hips

Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana
Bikram Posture 10 - Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana

Benefits:

  • May be good for depression and improved brain function
  • Reduces abdominal obesity
  • Good for diabetic conditions
  • May help balance blood sugar levels
  • Works endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems

Tips:

  • Entry, pose and exit ARE this pose. Take extra effort to create precision to benefit more greatly
  • Only bring your hands into prayer pose IF you are 100% sure you have a) excellent hip alignment and b) you have best spinal compression (rounding)

Check that you:

  • Constantly check into hip alignment for best results
  • Round down into the pose – no “diving”!
  • You have your spine as rounded as possible even when your hands move into prayer pose

Tree Pose

Tadasana
Bikram Posture 11 - Tadasana

Benefits:

  • Assists in correcting bad posture
  • Increases hip and knee flexibility and mobility
  • Stretches spine
  • Releases abdominal tension
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Tones gluteal muscles
  • Good for circulatory problems, arthritis and rheumatism

Tips:

  • Correct your hip and shoulder alignment relative to the floor and the mirror (2 dimensions)
  • Hold your foot from behind and bend your elbow behind you

Check that you:

  • Avoid a sway back. Squeeze your hips and feel the pelvis open as you gently work the knee backwards
  • Lift your breastbone and drop your shoulders

Toe Stand

Padangustasana
Bikram Posture 12 - Padangustasana

Benefits:

  • Creates balance and focus in body and mind
  • Strengthens abdomen as well as leg muscles
  • Strengthens joints (hips, knees, ankles and toes)
  • Helps relieve arthritis in all leg joints including hips

Tips:

  • Never attempt this pose if your foot slides more than an inch or 2 from its position in Tree pose
  • Never attempt this pose if your foot is on your thigh and not at or near your hip in Tree pose

Check that you:

  • Lock your standing leg and bend forward to get hands flat to the floor. Once your hands are able to take your weight then you can bend your leg. Regular/competent students may handle this differently

Corpse Pose

Savasana
Bikram Posture 13 - Savasana

Benefits:

  • Returns cardiovascular and systemic circulation to normal
  • Slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure
  • Teaches complete relaxation
  • Stills and focuses the mind

Tips:

  • Stillness is physical and mental. You can control both. Be the observer not the thinker or analyser

Check that you:

  • Shimmy your shoulder blades underneath you (towards each other) to create a greater, more easy breath capacity. You will notice an instant difference in your breathing

Wind Removing Pose

Pavana Muktasana
Bikram Posture 14 - Pavana Muktasana

Benefits:

  • Massages ascending, descending and transverse colon
  • Assists regulation and normalization of hydrochloric acid levels in stomach
  • Improves and may cure conditions of constipation, flatulence and hyperacidity
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Improves flexibility of the hip joints
  • Firms and tones muscles of the abdominal wall, thighs and hips
  • Increases peristalsis in the gut

Tips:

  • Go to the point where both shoulders and both hips stay on the ground.

Check that you:

  • Breathe into your belly
  • Tuck your chin and compress your thyroid and parathyroid glands

Sit Up

Padangustasana
Bikram Posture 15 - Padangustasana

Benefits

  • Strengthens and tightens the abdomen
  • Open mouth exhalation stimulates diaphragm and eliminates waste from lungs

Tips:

  • Don’t just “double exhale”. Match each exhale with a movement. Make them mean something. Exhale once to ‘L-sit’ then exhale hands to feet

Check that you:

  • Keep a straight back at your end point. Bend your legs if you have to

Cobra

Bhujangasana
Bikram Posture 16 - Bhujangasana

Benefits:

  • The arching of the spine increases flexibility and strength
  • Rejuvenates spinal nerves enriching them with a rich blood supply
  • Improves flexibility and tone of spinal muscles, massages, works and tones back muscles
  • Helps relieve and prevent lower backache
  • Improves core strength
  • Helps heal or relieve lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis and menstrual problems
  • Helps cure loss of appetite
  • Stretches the thoracic region and expands the rib cage bringing respiratory benefits and possible relief from asthma
  • Gentle pressure on the abdomen massages all organs and improves their function
  • Strengthens deltoids, trapezius and triceps
  • Compresses and opens spine
  • Relieves cervical spondylosis
  • Improves concentration
  • May help relieve  certain utero-ovarine and menstrual issues

Tips:

  • Start and finish with your chin forward
  • Use your eyes to take you higher (look where you are going)

Check that you:

  • Keep your quadriceps engaged. Most people just have straight legs
  • Are not pushing with your hands (unlike other yoga Cobra poses where pushing with the hands is required)
  • Keep your shoulders down away from the ears

Locust Pose

Salabhasana
Bikram Posture 17 - Salabhasana

Benefits:

  • Similar benefits to Cobra pose and even more effective in helping intervertebral disc conditions and sciatica
  • Firms buttocks and hips
  • Increases spinal strength, flexibility and circulation
  • Improves upper body strength
  • Improves flexibility and tone of spinal muscles
  • Helps relieve and prevent backache
  • Improves digestive system
  • Increases abdominal pressure and regulates intestinal function
  • Strengthens the abdominal wall
  • Helps correct bad posture
  • Improves function of liver and spleen
  • Strengthens shoulder, arm and back muscles
  • Compresses and opens spine
  • Relieves cervical spondylosis and back pain
  • Encourages concentration and perseverance

Tips:

  • Your hip stays on your forearm
  • Actively push your hands into the floor

Check that you:

  • Push your shoulders and not just your hands into the ground
  • Have your resting leg completely relaxed and not assisting in the elevation

Full Locust Pose

Poorna Salabhasana
Bikram Posture 18 - Poorna Salabhasana

Benefits:

  • Firms muscles of the abdomen, upper arms, hips and thighs
  • Increases spinal strength and flexibility
  • Improves flexibility and tone of spinal muscles
  • Helps relieve and prevent lower backache
  • Helps cure or relieve lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis and menstrual problems
  • Helps correct bad posture
  • May improve function of liver and spleen
  • Strengthens deltoids, trapezius and triceps
  • May relieve cervical spondylosis

Tips:

  • Energize your arms and legs before lifting up off the ground – not just at the moment you ‘start’ your pose

Check that you:

  • Lift your arms up from your ‘T’ position as you lift your chest. Your arms will look as if they are going into a ‘V’ formation. But don’t do anything but lift your arms vertically. The curve in your spine will do the rest

Floor Bow

Dhanurasana
Bikram Posture 19 - Dhanurasana

Benefits

  • Increases circulation to heart and lungs, improves oxygen intake
  • Opens diaphragm and expands the chest region – improves respiratory conditions
  • Opens shoulder joint and helps frozen shoulder conditions
  • Increases spinal strength and flexibility and tone of spinal muscles
  • Revitalises spinal nerves by increasing circulation to spine
  • Strengthens, compresses and opens lower, mid and upper spine
  • Improves strength and balance
  • Reduces abdominal fat and strengthens abdominal muscles
  • May help regulate ovaries and prostate gland
  • May relieve lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis and menstrual problems
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps correct bad posture
  • Strengthens concentration and mental determination
  • Develops internal balance and harmony
  • Improves function of kidneys, liver and spleen
  • Strengthens deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi and triceps
  • Possibly relieves cervical spondylosis

Tips:

  • Holding at the ankle doesn’t allow a stretch from the toes through to the knee. The ideal spot to hold is between the arch and the toes at the ball of the foot

Check that you:

  • Keep your legs from splaying out to the side. A little is pretty natural and acceptable for many
  • Your efforts should reflect in a symmetrical pose

Fixed Firm

Supta Vajrasana
Bikram Posture 20 - Supta Vajrasana

Benefits:

  • Helps conditions of sciatica, gout, varicose veins and arthritis
  • Slims and tones thighs, firms calf muscles and strengthens the abdomen
  • Strengthens and improves flexibility of lower spine, knees and ankle joints
  • Lubricates and increases circulation to joints
  • Strengthens and lengthens abdominal muscles
  • Creates a great stretch into hip joints and diaphragm
  • Relieves lower back pain

Tips:

  • Top of feet on the floor and hips and heels touching is your first aim.
  • Once you can do that then your next most important aim is to get your butt on the floor

Check that you:

  • Keep your butt on the floor. Once it gets there it stays there or you’ve either gone too far or you’ve undone your good work!

Half Tortoise Pose

Ardha Khurmasana
Bikram Posture 21 - Ardha Khurmasana

Benefits:

  • A rejuvenation pose providing maximum relaxation
  • Assists in relieving digestion problems and constipation
  • Physically stretches lower part of the lungs, increases lung capacity
  • Excellent for respiratory conditions
  • Increases circulation to the brain
  • Firms the abdomen and thighs
  • Increases flexibility of hip joints
  • Improves mobility of shoulder girdle and associated muscles (scapula, deltoids, triceps, latissimus dorsi)
  • May relieve stress and migraines
  • Helps with insomnia

Tips:

  • This is an active pose. Keep working with the breath to find traction in your body between fingertips and hips
  • Getting into and out of this pose effectively and easily relies on solid core strength

Check that you:

  • Keep your shoulders positioned away from the ears to elongate the neck. Just as in Half Moon, a tension-free shoulder and neck area is priority over straight locked out arms

Camel Pose

Ustrasana
Bikram Posture 22 - Ustrasana

Benefits:

  • Extends the spine, relieving back problems
  • Opens rib cage, lungs and digestive system
  • Stimulates nervous system
  • Great for lungs and many bronchial problems
  • Strengthens back and shoulder muscles
  • Improves flexion of neck
  • Stretches throat
  • Flushes fresh blood through kidneys

Tips:

  • Look back behind you – not up. It will help you get rid of any panic feelings that come up
  • Breathing can be difficult. Try to inhale into your belly and also imagine a broadening of your collarbones to open your chest (rather than that tight feeling in the throat that can have you wanting to come out early)

Check that you:

  • Place your hands on your hips to exit. Squeeze the hips and keep the head back

Rabbit Pose

Sasangasana
Bikram Posture 23 - Sasangasana

Benefits:

  • Provides maximum longitudinal elongation of the spine
  • Stretches the spine to increase proper nutrition to the nervous system
  • Improves the mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles
  • Stimulates thyroid and parathyroid glands through compression, helps balance and regulate metabolism
  • May help balance hormones
  • Improves flexibility of scapula and trapezius
  • Improves digestion, glandular problems and helps improve conditions of the sinus, common cold, and chronic tonsillitis
  • Helps insomnia, depression

Tips:

  • There’s something wrong if you feel absolutely NOTHING. And there’s something wrong if you find it hard to keep your legs on the floor.
  • Relax your feet

Check that you:

  • Keep your arms straight. They are not locked. They are long. The pose sets up TRACTION from your shoulders to your hands

Head To Knee Pose…

Janushirasana…
Bikram Posture 24 - Janushirasana

Benefits:

  • Head to knee pose is said to help balance blood sugar levels and the metabolism
  • Improves flexibility of sciatic nerve and ankle, knee and hip joints
  • Enhances kidney function
  • The intense stretching pose increases circulation to liver, spleen and pancreas
  • May stimulate thymus gland, digestion and immune systems
  • Increases flexibility of the trapezius, deltoid, erectus femoris, sciatic nerve and lumbar vertebrae
  • Stretches and strengthens pelvic girdle, hip joints, shoulder joints and spine
  • Massages abdominal organs
  • Stimulates and tones the digestive organs, increases peristalsis, may relieve constipation and other problems
  • Said to regulate function of the pancreas, possibly assisting those with diabetes
  • Creates intervertebral space and may relieve sciatica
  • Strengthens and stretches the hamstrings
  • Improves concentration and mental endurance

Tips:

  • Your foot is always flexed in this pose. The grip is at the BALL of the foot. Pull the foot backward back at the ball and push the heel away and …
  • Always bend your elbows in and down to release the shoulders away from the ears and to engage the action described in the previous point

Check that you:

  • NEVER look for your feet on the way into the pose. Tuck your chin. Bend your leg if you have to, to get forehead to knee

… Intense Stretch

… Paschimottanasana
Bikram Posture 24 - Paschimottanasana

Benefits:

  • Calms nervous system
  • Releases lower back (if back is straight or arched and not rounded forward)
  • Exercises muscular, adrenal and reproductive systems
  • Intensely stretches each side of the body
  • An excellent forward and backbend combined in a strong active stretch
  • Opens and increases flexibility of hip joints
  • Reduces saddle bags
  • Opens shoulder joint
  • Helps regulate hormone levels
  • Engages reciprocal inhibition to open the body

Tips:

  • Pull on your flexed feet with straight arms and lifted chest as you slowly extend your legs
  • Never bend your arms until you can sit in a straight-sided triangle*. Then bend the arms to straighten the back forward over straight legs

Check that you:

  • Always start with bent legs, straight arms and straight back.
  • Always keep your back straight or arched and never rounded. As soon as your back starts to collapse and compress forward, rock forward onto your sit bones, lift your chest and bend your legs. Creating more space from your pubic bone to your sternum and feeling a stretch is a handy analogy.
  • *Drop your shoulders and pull traction into your arms and back by using straight arms

Half Spine Twist

Ardha Matsyendrasana
Bikram Posture 25 - Ardha Matsyendrasana

Benefits:

  • Twists and stretches spine from the bottom to the top
  • Increases hip and back flexibility
  • Improves digestion
  • Firms the buttocks, thighs and abdomen
  • Improves elasticity, flexibility, circulation and nutrition to spinal nerves, vessels and tissues
  • Increases synovial fluid of the joints
  • Removes adhesions in the joints
  • Cleansing and encourages lubrication of the intervertebral column
  • Tones the roots of the spinal nerves and sympathetic nervous system
  • Opens bronchial muscles and rib cage
  • Helps prevent slipped disc
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • May help sciatica and arthritic conditions
  • Massages kidneys, liver, gall bladder, spleen and bowels

Tips:

  • Solidity in this pose and the best twist comes from making sure your hips are squarely and firmly on the floor. If they’re not then adjust your feet to make it happen. Your foot may be well in front of your knee. Many people have to extend the lower leg out in front to be able to correctly position the hips and/or hands. The results will speak for themselves

Check that you:

  • Use incremental changes initiated by the breath to find more space in your spine more range in your twist. Inhale length and space, exhale depth in the twist. Use your eyes to advance your movement and look where you are going

Blowing in Firm Pose

Kapalbhati Breathing in Vajrasana
Bikram Posture 26 - Kapalbhati Breathing in Vajrasana

Benefits

  • Cleanses body by removing stale air and waste products from lungs
  • Brings mental clarity
  • Strengthens abdominal organs and wall
  • Normalises bowels
  • Energises body
  • Improves oxygenation to the body
  • Improves cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • Good for regulating high blood pressure

Tips:

  • Contrary to popular belief, this pose is much easier if your arms are relaxed and shoulders down

Check that you:

  • Tuck your tailbone under a little bit (with sit bones in front of heels – kind of uncomfortable) so that you create more space in your belly. The force created in your exhales will be greater

Final Corpse Pose

Final Savasana
Bikram Posture - Final Savasana

Benefits:

  • Returns cardiovascular and systemic circulation to normal
  • Slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure
  • Teaches complete relaxation
  • Stills and focuses the mind

Tips:

  • Stillness is physical and mental. You can control both. Be the observer not the thinker or analyser

Check that you:

  • Shimmy your shoulder blades underneath you (towards each other) to create a greater, more easy breath capacity. You will notice an instant difference in your breathing