Why Breathe During Yoga?

I know the question sounds ridiculous, but the question is still valid. Sure you would prefer not to pass out as you free flow from cobra pose to downward facing dog. But do you realize that the value of the breath is as important if not more so than the poses themselves?

Ed and Deb Shapiro tackle the topic of the importance of the breath during a yoga practice in their recent Huffington Post. According to the Shapiros, yoga is a process which brings the mind, body, and spirit together in harmony. The entry point however, is the breath. By focusing on it, we allow ourselves to open more fully. As we bring this awareness inward, yoga turns into a meditation and allows for the outside world with all its difficulties to drop away.

The rhythm of the breath is like a mirror, reflecting our every mood, feeling and emotion. Fast and shallow breathing occurs when we are stressed, panicky, fearful or anxious; hard and rapid breathing accompanies anger and rage; gulping breaths reflect great sadness; while gentle deep breathing reflects a quiet and calm mind. Just by changing the rhythm of our breathing we can change our mood.

Read more about how to use the breath to enhance your yoga and meditation practice here.

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