The most important aspect of life is our BREATH. The author of Hatha Yoga Pradipika (text book on hatha yoga) clearly describes in his traditional text; “as the breath moves, as the mind moves.
Hence it is very clear that, our breathing patterns are directly interlinked with the state of our mind. Faster or shallow breathing simply means stress and anxiety, while breathing slowly means a relaxed body and calm mind. Learning to breath properly basically means learning to live properly with reduced amount of stress in our life.
The rule to be successful in your yoga practice is “BE AWARE AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY”. As we all know that awareness is very essential in every aspect of life and not just during the yoga practice. Listening to our body is important during your asana practice, because it reduces chances of injuries and discomfort. Here are few simple rules of breathing during yoga postures:
- Ideally it is best to breathe through the nostrils. Mouth breathing is not recommended especially during yoga postures.
- Do not hold your breath: Many of us tend to hold the breath while holding a yoga posture. A yoga practitioner should not hold the breath during the postures as it creates tension in the body. The purpose of yoga postures is to release physical tension, rather creating the tension.
- Chest breathing is more active in backward bending postures like Ustrasana, Bow Pose etc.
- Belly breathing is active in all forward bending postures like seated forward bend.
- Inhale during all extensions or stretching and exhale while relaxing or contracting.
- Breathe normally while holding a position and keep your eyes closed. It is best to focus on specific area of the body while holding any pose.
- You may use the strength of Ujjai breathing in those postures that requires muscular strength to hold; as Chair Pose (Utkatasana).
- Coordinating the breath with the body movement makes the practice enjoyable such as the practice of Sun Salutation.
These simple rules can help you to have a fruitful and enjoyable yoga practice.