They call it the breath of fire.
It sounds forced and desperate, like a Canada goose gasping for air after running a marathon.
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Linas Damasius of Libertyville calls it "kapalabhati body breathing."
"That's the breath of fire," Damasius said, "a very forceful breathing technique that we use at the end of class to let the last energy out of our bodies."
Damasius, 48, teaches free yoga classes at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. The class meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon, rain or shine, under the pergola in the native flower garden.
It's the second summer he's taught the class.
"Teaching the yoga classes has allowed me to meet other people and share something I love," he says.
During the Ashtanga yoga class, Damasius directs his students to perform such poses as sleeping turtle, downward-facing dog, warrior, boat and tripod head stand.
If done correctly, Ashtanga yoga will lengthen and strengthen literally every muscle in your body, Damasius said.
"I can feel muscles I never knew I had, definitely more strength and flexibility."
Damasius uses Tibetan singing bowls (the rim vibrates to produce sound) to deepen students' relaxation. "The singing bowls emit an alpha frequency that helps the brain enter a restful state of meditation," Damasius said.
He says people have many misconceptions about the practice of yoga.
"They think it's about chanting or gently stretching," he said. "Yoga is about proper alignment of muscles to maintain strong postures."
Damasius hosts yoga "solar jams" every couple of weeks at Cook Memorial Park in Libertyville. There he practices acro-yoga, a combination of acrobatics and yoga with members of his yoga Kula (a group of yoga friends).
"Acrobatic yoga has allowed me to develop my communication skills," he said. "Balancing someone who is trusting you, you need to have clear communication, both verbal and nonverbal."
Damasius says balancing a person in the air draws his focus to a single point, which enables him to support a student, called a flyer, while performing acro-yoga poses the flag, front bird, throne, side star and highflying whale.
"People think yoga is about emptying the mind, when it's really about learning to focus the mind," Damasius added.
For more, find Damasius and information about his free classes and solar jams on Facebook.