Life and yoga boil down to one thing: breath.
You don’t breathe, you don’t live. You don’t breathe, you aren’t doing yoga.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the asanas and forget the essential element of the breath. Because breathing is “easy” we neglect it in favour of stretching an extra few centimetres in standing-head-to-knee or going deeper in camel. Returning our attention to the breath is a continuous discipline.
Next time you’re in the yoga studio, observe your breath. You’ll probably notice there are times when you shorten or even hold your breath, or where you are tempted to breathe through your mouth. Pay mindful attention to your body in these moments. Notice what is tight, where there is tension, your emotional state. Make a conscious effort to prioritise breathing calmly and evenly. Observe how you relax.
Practice this outside the studio, too. When you are stressed, check your breathing and body. Note the areas of tension and breathe into them. Let them go.
As you become practiced at observing and controlling your breath, on and off the yoga mat, you discover greater peace and confidence in the face of life’s challenges.
Share your thoughts about yoga breathing in the comments.