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How Yoga Helped Me Retronasal

06-19-2013

How Yoga Helped Me Retronasal 



I think yoga is helping me become better at drinking beer.


For as long as I can remember I’ve been attempting to practice yoga. Back when I was a young’n I always switched back and forth from pain to painful boredom and didn’t really understand why people got into this prolonged movement called yoga. Then I started breathing. This past year in the midst of an excruciating hot yoga session I joined the bandwagon of heavy, obnoxiously loud yoga breathers and immediately noticed improvement, both in yoga and in beer tasting.



The most enjoyablepart of beer tasting (besides the fact you’re drinking beer) is that it is such a full-on sensory experience. Sight, smell, touch and taste combine to create the full effect. Smell especially should not be underestimated. Not only do the first sniffs help decipher the beer aroma they also play a huge role with taste, in fact, smell accounts for 80 percent of taste.


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To “retronasal” is to breathe in, sip the beer, hold the breath and then breathe out through the nose, allowing for odor compounds to travel from the mouth through the nasal cavity, which enhances the taste of the beer. This is similar to yoga breathe since it is simply breathing in deeply and rhythmically through the nose.



 

Breathing through the nose should be simple and honestly integrating retronasal into the beer tasting experience is very easy. However, feeling like asphyxiated or choking on the beer due to poor timing happens all too often. The key is in the ability to hold the breath while swallowing and then slowly, enjoyably releasing that breath via the nasal passageway. To have the perfect retronasal technique the breath needs to be a part of the sipping process, so the entire drinking experience is calm, smooth and enjoyable thanks to calm, rhythmic breathing. That’s when a flood of taste will suddenly hit and the full effect of the beer flavor will send wash over and be (hopefully) awesome.



So, get into mountain pose, breathe in through the mouth, sip, swallow, breathe out through the nose and enjoy.

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