IN YOGA, the breath is our teacher and our sustainer. The breath saves us, guides us, takes us and soothes us. The breath allows us to practice asana with a mind that is connected, focused and quiet. Focusing on the breath forces the mind to let go of all the other thoughts that want to crowd in there, and gives us the space to be in the present moment. The breath gives us the physical strength and peace of mind to be able to deal with whatever is in front of us. If you take a deep breath, controlled, steady and with awareness, you can immediately feel the effect it has on your entire being.
The more you breathe and develop your lung capacity and strength, the more you can feel your breath in your body. On a deep inhale, everything expands away from the center and on the exhale, it retreats and the body is empty again. When you practice breathing and infuse it with awareness, your breath becomes the most powerful tool, on and off the mat, for putting the mind and body at ease. Make deepening your breathing the focus of your asana practice rather than perceived performance or body-related goals, and you open your practice up to it’s true potential.