“Why Focusing on the Breath is Essential During Asanas” Article from the Isha Blog

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Please do click the link below to read the short but informative article from the Isha Foundation on breathing while doing your yoga asanas.  Thanks to Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation Volunteers! Namaskaram OM

Why Focusing on the Breath is Essential During Asanas.

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82 responses »

  1. I have heard a lot of stories or so in the past, but this article beats them all. I mean I never would have thought our breath could be that important. In the part where it said “Let’s say you have a job that you are very involved with, a family at home, and an affair on the side, you will be in a lot of mess – never at ease. Only if your body, mind, and emotions are focused in one direction, you will be at total ease”. I somewhat used to feel that way. When I first started community college and during the fall semester of 2014 I used to think that taking care of school and then going to take care of helping my dad was alot for me to handle and I thought I would get stressed out over it and not take a breath. But I found it that there was nothing to worry about because I found ways to arrange my time so that my school work wouldn’t interfere with my excavating work. I never really thought that if I stay with my breath and work at it, I would understand where me and my body are linked. I always was under the impression my breath was what kept me going throughout the day. Jimmy Harrington

  2. So this short article got me thinking of the effectiveness of meditations that make use of visualization. According to Sadhguru, when the mind, body, and emotions are not focused on the same thing meditation can become fragmented. If this is true then we can assume when going through a guided meditation where your guide is narrating some visual elements while you breathe deeply, this can make meditation fragmented as your mind, body, or emotion can be focusing on your breath, or on the visualization. However, I find visualization to be pretty elevating. In fact, in the past it has helped me visualize my goals in a way that made the process of reaching them much more rational. What do you think?

  3. This article is actually quite profound in its elaboration – our breath does indeed hold our bodies together. Every point and statement made not only has great importance and significance in regards to Yoga and the practice of the Isha Kriya; but medically our lives and our heartbeat, our brain functions relies on the circulation of oxygen and whether or not we are receiving it adequately. As an EMT, whenever we come across an individual who is unresponsive and not breathing our training persists that rescue breathing in the form of CPR is conducted in an effort to keep the organs especially the brain oxidized to prevent brain damage or even death. So thus, proves the significance of a single breath. From personal experience breathing is also efficient especially dealing with stress, just taking a step back and taking a deep breath can actually change my mental focus and my mental state. I often find myself taking deep breaths to overcome my anxiety or any nervousness which significantly relaxes my body. I always wondered why the breath was such an important factor in Yoga and especially in the Isha Kriya, and as the article explains your mind and emotions need a single object to focus on, if not then the body and even the mind are in disarray. Hence, one would not truly able to focus on the meditation for complete ease.

  4. I can see why focusing on the breath during asanas, and anything else is very significant. It is true that the breath is the only thing that will stay with you until death. I had never thought about it like that. Things come and go in life but one of the few things that will stay is your breath. Without it, we cannot exist. Nothing is as reliable as the breath, because once people have gone and left, what will remain is the breath.

    My understanding of the article is that, if we can focus on the one thing that we keep forever, we will be able to control every other aspect of ourselves. We will be able to to begin to understand ourselves from the outside in, because understanding ourselves is the first step to understanding the people and world around us.

    This makes sense as to why we are told to constantly stay with out breath in yoga. It is more than just physical, it is mental and spiritual as well. Yes, there are physical acts involved but we have to put much emphasis on focusing on what is happening on the inside because it is always a reflection of what is happening on the outside. I agree when the article mentioned that all the trouble and suffering life comes from our body and our mind. Being able to control the mind and body is important, not only for yoga but for everyday life. In this way, we can learn to suppress negative impulsive emotions or actions and figure out how to more positively deal with what we are feeling.

  5. It is true that breath may be one of the only constants in life. The confort of knowing its always there is indeed an idea that can empower. I also find that using the breath as a so called meter or gauge for relaxation is an effective way ti look at respiration. In my case, climbing is something i do that i must remain calmn in extreme situations. When i begin to feel a loss of control on a harmful or dangerous situation, i go back to the basics of breathing until my heart rate slows and i can once again make rational decisions. Breath is everything.

    • Thanks for your honest statements that include your personal experiences…do include each week about your IK, the amount of times practiced and extensive comments about your experiences,OM

  6. For the first time, this article made clear to me why I should focus on my breathing and not my thoughts. It is easy to get carried away with a thought, to let it create an emotional response of anger or jealousy, to let it create a positive emotional response such as happiness and love, and also take my mind away from my yoga and onto something else. I identify as a VERY distractable person. It would be wise of me to apply Sadhguru’s knowledge on the topic to my yoga and my Isha Kriya weekly. Once my mind is no longer present in my yoga, I find my body quick to take shortcuts, to cheat myself out of proper yoga and relaxation. I owe it to myself to focus, and to do so I will focus on my breathing.

  7. I really appreciated this article for many reasons. One reason is that it surprised me with what it had to say. I know we have learned a little about this in class but this article made it more clear. When focusing on your breath, your mind and body connect to focus on one thing, keeping your stray thoughts in the distance. I liked how this article talked about the importance of breathing, it is so true that the ONLY reliable thing we have is our breath. I like to think there are others, but everything else is out of my control. Except for doing the Isha Krya practices, i usually get lost when trying to focus on my breathing. Breathing in a state of awareness as well as when in meditation is something extremely important that i will focus more and more on every day.

  8. I needed to read this tonight. I have been struggling with compulsion, and when I am wrapped up in my head, about the the things that I want and think I need, I forget about my breath. Losing sight of my most simple and urgent necessity, I start to drift into a place of fear and anxiety. I become ruled by emotion and thought. This is a place that I know well and I try hard on a momentary bases to bring myself back to this simplicity. Reading this article reminded me that all that I ever truly need to do is breathe. I need absolutely nothing else (except of course food, etc.). Since I am in a blessed position in life where I can, at this moment, rely on having the basics, it is so important not to get wrapped into material things. This is a day to day struggle. I am trying, which is more than I can say about a lot of my life in the past.

  9. Lately i feel very jumbled, from my senior project to being a full time student, having a 4-5 day job that requires me to work till 1am. I often find myself in a mess forgetting to watch my breathe and just relax my mind. I can only focus at one thing at a time with my full attention. It has been really hard trying to finish my senior project before my show. Yoga has helped tremendously in finding ways to release that stress and focus on the core of my soul that way i can evenly distribute myself in all that i do. I have been practicing my IK i try to do it at least once a day. I am excited to see how my IK will improve my senior year.

  10. Breathing really is the most important function that we always take for granted and forget about. Like Sadhguru said, breathing is the string which holds us together and without it we would fall apart. Going about our busy daily schedules we often forget to really breathe and to pay attention to our breathing. But if we could just take a small part out of our day to stop and be aware of our breathing, we could focus so much more on our daily tasks. By focusing on breathing during the asanas, one is doing the same thing. It is important to focus to lessen stress and heal one’s body and mind. The breath is the only thing guaranteed during ones lifetime, and its important to understand its significance while we still have it.
    Kristen Breitmaier

  11. I agree with the statement made in this article about needing to focus on your breath. While practicing yoga it does help to have something to concentrate on. You are trying to not think, but at the same time it is almost impossible to not think when you are told to do so. Focusing on something like breathing helps your mind from not wandering and thinking about other things, yet its not something that will distract you from doing yoga. It is crazy to think that your breath is keeping you alive and without it we could not live. When you are panicking or having a tough time it is good to be able to stop what your doing and focus on your breath for a while.

  12. Focusing on your breathe is very important in everyday situations, as well is in meditation and yoga practice. Whenever I find myself stressed or having a panic attack, the first thing I’m always told is to focus on my breathing. That actually does help me calm down and reassess the situation at hand. I really appreciated the quote “only when there is no fear of suffering, a human being will dare to explore his life at full stride.” I feel like that is in itself such an important goal to strive for in life. I feel as though we can only find true meaning in things when we are fully engaged in life and the only was the achieve that is to focus on your breath and realize how to control it and how it controls you in a way.

  13. I found this article to be one that is a reminder of he importance of a persons breathe in practicing yoga. I have had trouble focusing on my breath during my own practice. It is true that when a person is not focusing on breathing your mind will just go to a million different places. I personally have this problem, I forget to focus my mind and energy and breathing and I get distracted, uncomfortable and lost in my own head. This was a great reminder and explanation of the importance of breath. -Shannon Reilly

  14. I really liked this article because I think we sometimes fail to recognize the importance of a steady breath in our day to day lives. It’s almost as if it is so easy to focus on breathing that we completely forget to do so, yet it can be so relieving to just take a deep breath. Doing yoga consistently has definitely helped me realize this in my life. I have very large sinuses and often get post-nasal drip during the winter, but conscious nasal breathing we have been practicing has helped me clear my sinuses and feel much better in this harsh season. Focusing on breathing clears my mind, and I feel that I hold my yoga positions better when I am paying attention to it. It’s the perfect way to stay in the yoga mindset and judge your own comfort level.

    I practiced the Isha Kriya five times this week. I still like having that time to myself, but I had a lot of lower back pain this week and doing the practice was a bit painful at times. Sitting against the wall was helpful, but it is very hard to even attempt to enter a mindset of separating body from self when you’re in physical pain. I know the point of the Isha Kriya is to separate the self from suffering of the mind and body, I just struggled to try doing that this week. I’m curious, in the future is it okay to try doing the Isha Kriya while laying down, or does that somehow defeat the purpose? It is a much more comfortable position when my back pain returns.

    • Emma, you can use a chair for your IK and do let me help you find one before each class, just come to me before we begin, you must be comfy and yes not lying down, the energy must lift up your spine to get the benefits…OM

  15. I can certainly see why the breath is so important to gaining the most out of the yoga practice. It is like a mantra which we can focus on and gives us relief from worries, thoughts and stress, it is a reliable and steady factor in life and the steadier ones breath becomes, the more steady the mind and body become, as it sets the body and inner systems rhythm, tying into the blood flow, the muscles and the organs. As we practice yoga it is not only the body movements that are important, if our minds are wandering during the practice to daily worries and stress, the practice is much less full, if we are fully focused on the breath, the body and mind can become one, the mind fully engaged in the body’s movements and moving with them. Perhaps it is when these two things, body and mind, become one, that we notice the third element, the true inner self, become articulated.

    -Margaret Pinto

  16. Focusing the whole being on the breath reminds me of the video that you had posted this week, 2/15/2015, when he talks about doing simple acts with the whole being. I like thinking about my breath, what is me, as what is stable. I shouldn’t rely on what is external to me to find my stability when I can instead rely on myself.I have done the Ishia Kryia 3 times this week, and I plan on doing 1 before I go to bed tonight and 1 tomorrow. I have become better at focusing on my breath, but I am still having a lot of trouble ignoring my thoughts. When I sit for the mediation, my thoughts seem to become more present, but I am doing my best to let them slip away without my acknowledgement. I really like the feeling after the mediation is over. I feel rested and my whole body and mind feel calm, peaceful, positive and warm. I look forward to experiencing the positive effects as I continue the mediation.

    • This is a great beginning…know we all start out witnessing the dance of our thoughts and with practice we begin to train the mind to be more quiet….it takes practice and patience and one day you will notice a shift happen….and then again some huge life event may occur and you may find yourself back to where you started but this time you will have had this introductory knowledge of how things can change and you will easily be able to resettle and balance yourself….we are little projects that need continual work….OM

  17. Appreciating every breath we take can impact one widely and endlessly. Taking the time to have deep positive breaths helps us stay in a calm mood even when encountering stressful situations. The breaths we take daily should not go by for granted, we need to be mindful that once we stop breathing, our life will be over. Every time I’m sitting in traffic I like to take a second to appreciate every breath rather than waste my mind and positive energies complaining on the traffic or how late I will be for school or work, this has impact me greatly because I handle situations more easily instead of stressing out.
    This is related to the Isha Kriya practice because we find ourselves in peace and we are actually taking the time to breath in and out happily. This is the second week I practice it for 5 days and I feel more comfortable with myself. I am using Sadhguru’s instructions to time myself and move on to the next steps, and still have some back issues so I use the wall for assistance. I am looking forward to share it with my mom and sister and maybe do this practice as a group everyday.
    -Laura Sanchez

  18. In this article, Sadghuru outlines the importance of keeping the mind focused on the breath during the different postures of a yoga practice. He explains that in order for a person to be in alignment, they need to keep their mind and emotions focused on the same object. A person whose mind, body, and emotions are all invested in different aspects of their life, for example, someone who has an involving job, a family at home, and an affair on the side. In this example, each of these three aspects, mind, body, and emotion, are all pointing in different directions and thus out of alignment.

    Sadghuru also explains that by understanding how the mind and body are connected through the breath do we learn how to distance ourselves from our body. Our breath, and our voices connect our brains to our bodies, and by aligning ourselves to this link we can learn to let go of suffering. This is possible because all suffering comes from our minds and bodies. If we can discipline our selves to focus on the breath and focus our mind and emotion on one point, we can let go of suffering and pain by holding our bodies at a distance.

    This article feels relevant to my life right now. This semester I unexpectedly had a large work load for the classes I am taking. It has been difficult to balance this with my social life as well as the extra tasks I have to do for my application process to graduate school. Because of the many different projects I have set for myself that all take up a lot of my time and pull me away from friends and relationships I’ve found myself very much out of alignment in the sense Sadghuru means it.

    Unfortunately, I’ve only practiced three days this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I found that my practicing was often distracted in my room by the activities of others in my apartment, which was very disrupting and made it difficult to finish the full time. Wednesday I was successful because I practiced during the early afternoon when nobody was home. But Tuesday and Thursday the only time I had was right after dinner when everyone was home and at their noisiest.

    However, reading this post has reminded me of the importance of focus in my practice. The focus is the key element, the moving of the body is only the means by which the focus takes effect. Practicing such focus, self-discipline can keep us in alignment during difficult times. After reading this article, I decided to do another practice.

    -Dakota Wayne

    • Remember you can use our classroom area when not in use, the sauna, perhaps a music practice room look for sacred spaces you can claim on campus for your IK….OM

  19. This blog entry brought me to reflect on my current practicing of the Isha Kriya and my attention to breathing. I frequently deal with feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed, which cause me to struggle in my ability to focus. While in the actual moment of practicing Isha Kriya has assisted in bringing me to feel more at peace, I have now also found myself paying more attention to my breathing in my day-to-day routines where I may become anxious. This newfound attention has assisted me in being able to become more calmed and productive with regard to tasks that require my focus, and my mind has been able to rise up from and above my troubled thoughts.

  20. Sadhguru’s explanation on why we should focus on our breath really spoke to me on a personal level. In the article he states that in our lives our minds, bodies, and emotions are constantly being pulled in different directions, and because of this we are never really at ease. Currently in my life my mind and body are all over the place but I never seemed to notice the stress it has caused me. When doing Isha Kriya everyday I start to realize the ease of stress as my mind and body is centered. It is peaceful and relaxing for me when i’m able to just focus on my breathing, it makes everything float away and allows my thoughts to slow down. Doing these exercises are great because it lets me appreciate the breath, something I never really gave any thought and took for granted.

  21. It is no wonder that when I am experiencing anxiety in my life that it feels impossible to get myself together. It is difficult to focus and catch your breath in a state where your thoughts are frazzled and you feel paralyzed. It sometimes feels like drowning, where the mind stutters and cant communicate with the body. This has and effect on my Isha Kriya practice sometimes, but I have been trying to do a better job of trying to let go of distractions and getting back to the breath. As the school semester goes on and assignments get more difficult, it is hard to let go and give myself the time to really relax. I have completed four so far this week. Really hoping these weekly readings will continue to give me assistance and insight for my practice.

  22. The more and more I read about the importance of breath in the Isha Kriya and in the asanas, the more I understand that connecting with my breath is important at all times. Breathing deeply and fully is something that we take for granted, as Sadhguru said. I have found that in times of anxiety and unsureness, focusing on my breathing helps me become more focused stable. In my daily Isha Kriya practice, I have found that as I breathe more deeply, the practice becomes more effective and allows me to be more focused and able to make difficult decisions more clearly. I am prioritizing my Isha Kriya practice, as I have been keeping up with it daily. I find that when I start something new, I stick to it for maybe two weeks and then forget about it. Because of this, I prioritized doing the Isha Kriya and ensure that I do it almost every day twice a day, which (surprisingly) I have been doing nearly every day since I have learned it, including in the last two weeks. As the semester wears on, I am feeling more pressure to do well and rise to the high expectations that my teachers and mentors have of me. I feel that my daily practice of the Isha Kriya allows me to acknowledge my stressful situation, and effectively create a course of action in order to fulfill the expectations of that situation.

    • This Michela, is so wonderful, and YOU made the decision to bring IK more fully into your routine and it has blossomed so lovely already….do stay on the path….more benefits are in store for you! So proud of YOU! OM

  23. Sadhguru’s states our minds, bodies, and emotions are constantly being pulled in several different directions, resulting in struggle. To be fully at ease he suggests that our mind and emotions need a single object to focus on – breaths. I very much agree and relate to these statements. When I begin my yoga practice I am tense from the day and stressed with thoughts of all the work I need to complete. Once I begin to focus on my breathing these stressful thoughts begin to feel distant. Suddenly my breathing (something I would usually never take notice of) becomes most captivating and important thing on my mind. The more deeply I focus on my breathing the less tense my mind and body become. It is then that I feel truly relaxed and am able to fully appreciate my body and all it does for me.

  24. Lately, I have bee writing a lot if mantras for myself, in part because I have been reading many sutras from the Buddhist practice. The importance of the “Prajnaparamita Mantra” is the breath. It’d interesting to see how the world works and strings itself together like the breath. Everything in my life coincidentally always comes full circle. I have been reading and practicing these chants some time now before the class and I find it so interesting that no matter what, the breath is pertinent in all areas of life. The Prajnaparamita Mantra teaches you to circulate your breath within your body, more specifically it teaches you the rhythm of your body by placing your tongue to your teeth and breathing within your body to feel the energy and motion of the breath inwards. I have never paid attention to my breathing as much as I have done in this moment. I am still working on being calm and releasing my anger, stress, and fear but I know this is only the beginning of a long personal development.

  25. Focusing on my breathing is something I always strive for when I am practicing, but often I find my mind straying it from it. Often I am reminded in my own personal practice about engaged breathing, pulling in my core and pelvic floor not only to keep my attention on my breathing but also to strengthen and protect my body through the practice. When I am working through a challenging pose I often hold my breathe, which of course just throws me off balance and so as I continue in my practice I try and really listen to myself as I breathe and always go back to it when I am in a moment of difficulty. As i continue in my practice I am finding the focus on my breathe to be helpful and is making each time I practice even more successful. I feel I have an especially successful session when I leave with my body relaxed and my mind clear, and I feel that through conscious and engaged breathing this will only continue to be more successful.
    Chloe Pocock

    • Thanks for your honest reflective comments here. To improve your Journals please do spend time including a review of the information in each post as well comparisons/contrasting references to have a more substanstail essay, best wishes, OM

  26. Yadira Guevara Prip

    Yes! A thousand times yes to breathing! Of course it is essential to yoga, it is essential to living. In my acting training, the breath has been a very big part of learning how to be at ease in my work. It is necessary to be connected to my mind and my body when I begin working because I am using all of me when I act. What better way to connect than through breath? I have found that when I rush this process, or forget the way I am breathing, I get distracted and nervous, and my work suffers for it.
    I appreciate the way that the article put it, saying that breath is the one thing that stays with us from the moment we are born to the moment we die. It truly is our most faithful companion. I often neglect my breathing. When I am not in yoga class, not working, and not being mindful of my breathing I allow a lot of worry to infect my thinking.
    Breathing is wonderful! What a great tool our body has.

    • Thanks for validating the article with your personal experiences…I am sure it will be easy for you to invest more time writing a longer essay with contrast and comparisons as well to write more about what you understand about each post to lengthen your essays, but please do edit out your cheerful and positive outlook! Namaste

  27. As I read the very beginning of this article, it occurred to me that I’d never questioned why there is so much focus on the breath in yoga! I suppose that I always assumed that it was in order to help us move with more ease through poses, and reap more physical benefits from the practice (expanding our lungs, further stretching our bodies). This article described very concisely why our focus is turned towards the breath, and even helped to connect this concept of focus and clear sense of direction to our external lives; however, the concept of breath in our external lives outside our practice was just as important to Sadhguru, it seems, as our breath during our practice. Sadhguru explains breath as the binding force which “holds you and your body together,” and says it is the single object that our mind and emotions can focus on in our practices to ensure that we are at “maximum ease.” Thinking about this made me realize how when we speak, we tend to dissociate our mind, emotions, and body from one another, while they are all very much intertwined and connected to each other. It seems that there are many different approaches to analyzing these connections between our minds, bodies, and emotions, but focusing simply on the breath as the connection for all of these parts of ourselves, to me, is such a clear way for me to align these aspects of my being and maintain a consistent focus, especially during our practice. It was really fascinating to question this concept for the first time (relating to yoga), and receive such a direct answer in the same reading.

    – Alexandra S.

  28. Focusing on your breathe is essential,if you don’t I find yoga almost impossible.
    “It is the most steady and reliable thing to focus your mind on. If while doing an asana, you do not focus your mind onto the breath, it will go all over the place.” Like it said, your breath is your minds companion, I find that to be utterly and completely true. It’s almost too difficult to explain why your breath is so important in yoga. I guess a good example is when people say they find yoga to be boring. Which is a perfectly fine opinion, but I can’t help thinking that they think that way because they’re doing it wrong or they’re just not focused. Like the article said, if you’re not focused onto your breath your mind will go all over the place and the yoga will fall apart. If you’re bored, you’re allowing your mind to not be at ease. Therefore, you can’t really go forward and you wont be able to find a balance between your mind and body. Your breathe is just your guide to success..

  29. Staying with my breath is something that I often overlook in my life, even when I am practicing Yoga. It is very helpful that there is someone present during practice that is reminding me to breath. As unnatural as it may sound, I often forget the importance of healthy breathing. As the vital rhythm of our livelihood, it deserves attention, and any person would benefit from developing the relationship with his or her own breath. Considering one’s breath as a reliable companion is another aspect of this writing that stuck out to me.
    It is an interesting question to ask oneself: How is my relationship with my own breath? In answering this question I found that my personal relationship with my own breath requires work. My skewed behavior in respect to my breath is based in ignorance. It is easy, I find, to fall into a pattern that is compulsive, impulsive, and characterized by shallow breathing. This is a place that I often inhabit out of my conditioning. Through my childhood and upbringing I have allowed others to lead me out of my original home. In this way, I appreciate that another type of place was described towards the end of the writing. It is said that the breath can transport you “…to a place where you and your body are linked”.
    This answer left me contemplating other qualities of this ‘place’. I also wonder, how does someone who resides in this place behave in society? What are some of their qualities and characteristics? A student of any spiritual practice has most likely encountered sources that answer these questions with notions of benevolence, peace, bliss, and other favorable qualities. However, to really know this I feel as though the student must experience it first-hand. My goal for myself, as I move forward with my practice (in and out of class) is to follow my breath so I may discover these qualities within myself. By paying attention on the breath one is bringing good into the world, which I find to be a worthwhile intention.
    Intentions are also closely related to the breath in that they become more apparent as one resides in stillness, focusing on the breath. When one stops the constant activity of today’s average schedule, room is made for discovery. It is interesting, and heart-warming, to think that one can progress and have breakthroughs by paying attention to something that is always there. It is a supplier of life, keeping the body alive by restoring and refreshing. By paying attention to the patterns of life itself through breath, we are afforded an opportunity to grow closer to it.
    I am inclined to share about an experience that occurred during my practice on 9/21/15. While laying in Savasana I was able to slow the activity in my mind down to a point where I felt completely empty, and without of any notions of myself or where I was. This state was very different from sleep, and can only remember a few instances similar to this in the past. I believe that part of the reason I was able to do so is because I had set, before class, the intention of following the instructions as closely as I could without creating an expectation. I cannot say how long this experience lasted, because I wasn’t using my mind while it happened. It was the realization of my minds inactivity that actually ended up causing a chain of thoughts. I found myself scrambling to find any information in terms of where/what I was, and truly could not come up with any answers for many moments. Eventually I opened my eyes and came back to my ‘regular’ consciousness.

    – Conrad Hamonet –

    • Teachers often have to wait a very long time to find a student who is so honest, and able to communicate their experiences so richly and now I have the opportunity to share with someone like yourself….all I can say it that it will be a privilege to share with you this practice, Namaste

  30. This article reminded me of the first yoga class we had this semester. I remember sitting down on the mat and having to count 35 breaths. I was concentrating very hard on inhaling and exhaling slowly and consciously. When I hit 15, I started feeling funny and a little disoriented. I had to open my eyes-I couldn’t place the sensation. It obviously wasn’t because I wasn’t getting enough air, and I was hydrated. I think that because I lead such a “stressful” (from multitasking/distractions) life, that because I was finally not thinking of anything but my breath, the foreign feeling surprised me.
    I have ready many articles about conscious breathing- how it can reduce stress and anxiety and even give the breather a natural “high”, I hadn’t read the idea that breath is the one constant in every living person’s life. It is the only thing you will are guaranteed to have until you die. And because it is the only constant, it is the only thing that the mind and body truly have in common, and so it is the one thing that can connect the two of them. I think that this idea creates a fantastic visual, and will help me through the classes so that I can focus entirely on connecting my body and mind- and then distancing them from myself, like the article says- to rid myself from the stress and anxiety I find myself faced with often.

    Katherine Gilmartin

  31. As we move through the asanas, our breathing is constant. It tells us how our body is reacting to the poses and whether we should keep moving or take a resting pose. It tells us we are living and present, here, in the moment. The concept of breathe being the only aspect of ourselves and our lives that is constant is a very strong one. I was surprised however that this writer did not link the breathe strongly to the concept from “Secret of the Yamas”: that we need to concentrate on ourselves and not external forces.
    While the constant energy of breathe is uplifting in yoga practice, I think it is important to mention its role in keeping the focus on yourself. Modern yoga practice is so focused on the asanas themselves and the ways yoga tones and strengthens the body. As said in “Secret of the Asanas”, the physical changes yoga can bring to the body are side effects of meditative and self reflective practice. Focusing on your breathe is a key way of linking the mind to your body. The breathe is also key in taking focus away from the asanas and lifting the discomfort that can come from certain poses.
    I decided to bring up the link between this essay and the points made in the section of John McAfee’s book because I think those topics in combination would work very well. However, I certainly agree with this essay. The focus on breathe can bring yoga into every moment of your life. Any time you are feeling distracted or stressed, worried or angry, you can focus inward on your breathe. You can bring meditation and self reflection into your busiest of moments and relieve your stress by taking steady, focused breathes.

    • What an excellent Journal entry! Thanks for bridging the two posts together….you are the first to see the correlations. Thanks for being a part of the Journal process and sharing on such an optimal level, Bravo, OM

  32. I agree with Sadhguru about the importance of focusing on ones breathing. It is such a vital thing we are constantly doing, yet more often than not we forget it is even happening. As he says, your breath will not leave you until you die, and when we focus on our breathing, each inhalation is simultaneously a reminder as well as a celebration of the simple fact that we are alive. I know this is something I myself am apt to take for granted. I allow myself to get distracted by the world that is going on around me, and forget to appreciate the simple fact that i am healthy and alive. After i practice yoga and have been focusing on my breathing, i just feel so much better than i had before. i am filled with so much energy, and truly feel alive. i am making a conscious effort to pay attention to my breathing in my day to day life, and remember to appreciate the gift that life is.

  33. What I believe this article is telling me is that if you ever feel your life is a mess and very disorganized, just stop for a moment to focus on your breath. Your breath holds your body together and therefore can bring you peace. Then, you need to focus on bringing your life back together the way your breath holds your body together. Lately I’ve been very stressed about my classes and assignments. I want to try to use this technique to help myself relax, focus on what’s important, and get everything on track. However, I wonder if every messy situation in life can be solved by focusing on your breath. It seems too simple. I intend to look into this and explore myself and all the possibilities that could come from using my breath.

    • Yes conscious breathing can begin to help us put every aspect of our lives into balance…there may be some clearing work or purging work necessary to clear the decks if as you say things are all a “mess” but once clear and one keeps to the practice of concious breathing throughout each day life will become quiet amazing….OM

  34. This article was especially interesting to me. I have been focused on my breathing since kindergarten when I was diagnosed with asthma. When I was that young I didn’t have very much control of my breath or notice when I was lacking in it. Therefore there were many things I could not do because I would not be able to breathe afterwards. After a while I began to learn what would make my asthma worse and be able to tell when I had it before I was struggling too badly. Slowly I also began to develop breathing exercises that helped me breath easier when I had asthma. In a few years I was able to join the soccer team, which I was previously not allowed to join because of health reasons. Unfortunately I have another problem with breathing. Since I have anxiety I sometimes would get panic attacks. When these would happen I wouldn’t be able to tell if I couldn’t breathe or not. It felt so similar to asthma my body would get confused. I have now also have been able to tell which type of breathe means what. I agree completely with this article breathing is so important and will tell you exactly is going on with your body.

    • Thanks for your honest and personal experiences nothing can be more valid. Please do invest more time in your writing to review the data presented, use contrasting/comparative resources as well, Namaste

  35. After reading the article, “Why Focusing on the Breath is Essential During Asanas” it has been clarified for me why I can’t focus during yoga. In class during yoga practice, I find that my mind wanders in many different directions. I think about what I’m having for dinner that night, or what homework I have to complete by the next day. This isn’t just a problem I face during yoga practice, but also when trying to sleep. By focusing on nothing but your breathing, those other thoughts will disappear and not crowd the mind. One thing that has helped me immensely when trying to go to sleep is being mindful of my breathing with the help of listening to tonal bells, breathing in during the sound of a bell, and exhaling. Not only does this help relax me but it also quiets my mind down that is the cause of my anxiety. Now that I am conscious that I must bring this with me and stick to mindful breathing during yoga practice, I know It will aid me in having a a more mindful experience.

  36. Breathing is the process of taking air into, and expelling it from the lungs. It is vital to the survival of all living creatures but humans often take the involuntary nature of breathing for granted. For humans, breathing is involuntary, automatic, and continuous. The unconscious part of our brain is in constant communication with the rest of our body, guaranteeing that we continue breathing, taking approximately 12 to 20 breaths per minute, for 24 hours a day, even while asleep. Conversely, many other animals need to be conscious and alert to take a breath, like dolphins and whales, which have to be aware of the position of their blowholes above water before they consciously signal to their body to take a breath. Knowing how your body breathes reinforces what the article says about breathing, that your breath will not leave you until you die, that it is the most steady and reliable thing in your life, that your breath holds you and your body together. I normally take my unconscious breathing for granted and do not notice its vitality or relaxing properties. However, when I am practicing yoga, focusing on my breathing helps me hold positions that are difficult, and it helps me relax. When I am able to concentrate on my breathing alone it is very soothing and helps me clear my mind. Focusing on breathing works better than a mantra or anything else I have tried to clear my mind.
    – Julia Baker

  37. Brianne Malloy

    **Yoga Tools for Relaxation and Peace**

    To achieve a state of ease, it is important to simplify what we are used to which in this blog is described to be our complicated life where we are thinking and worrying about many things at once. Breathing exercises are what allow us to focus on just one thing at a time, therefore allowing us to achieve that state of ease. When we set aside time where we rid our minds of our worries and focus on our breath and nothing else, this allows us to temporarily simplify what we usually think about in a complex way– rejuvenating and recharging the mind. The reason it is our breath that we focus on is because it is the one thing that we will always have with us no matter where we are as long as we are alive. The blog also mentions that following our breath is the only way we can discover a state of mind where the mind and the body are truly linked. Once discovered you can live your life without worry, struggle or fear and it is only our breathing that will get us to that desired place.

    • A good start to your Journal entries…you have reviewed the data here, how about adding your personal experiences, compare and/or contrast to other experiences or information? Namaste

  38. A very beautiful response by the Sadhguru. It is truly a skill to let breathing weave both your thoughts and body compulsions to one quiet track to mindfulness. I really appreciated this answer in the artistic sense, that I’m sure will help through the poses and focus on it differently no matter what happens in my surroundings. However, I thought to myself, “I would have liked some technical aspect of it to have been mentioned so that I can know how to do it quicker”, and as soon as I started to try to make it a step by step process I stopped and realized this was exactly what is leading me away from it. The breath is already such a value with great ease, that to complicated with technicality is a contradiction to what it should be doing for us, which is redirecting us to quiet mental piece that will at the same time help us find the answer to comfort above and beyond in order to go about our days with simplicity.

  39. For anyone living in our modern world, not just students, there are so many distractions, so many responsibilities to focus on-it can be dizzying. Our days are filled with running here and there, cramming in this or that activity or job or social function, that we often find ourselves breathless and overwhelmed. But, if we take our tasks one at a time and focus on our breath as we complete the task, focus on it before moving onto the next one, we will not feel that dizziness, that sense of being overwhelmed. The breath will guide us and keep us rooted. I often tell my young daughter to “take a deep breath” when she is frustrated or acting up, and it’s so interesting to see this principle in action, she relaxes immediately, because her focus is on the breath and not the activity that is causing her trouble. And, of course, it works for me, too. When I’m frustrated I stop and focus on my breathing for a few seconds, and the frustration becomes less because I’ve channeled my mental energy onto the breath and off of the frustration. Such a simple, though vital, thing, and yet we generally do not employ it enough.

    • Jennifer, great that you are sharing conscious breathing techniques with your daughter….it will serve her well in all aspects….also do share the finger holds we did last night….OM

  40. As a singer, I could not even begin to count the number of times I have been told to focus on my breathing. Despite the repetition, no one has ever made the point that focusing on breathing would allow me to be focusing on one thing in one moment, without being distracted by all of the other emotions and activities taking place, both inside my head and physically around me. This concept leads me to believe that if when I am singing, I try to forget about the lyrics, or the notes, or the musical accompaniment, and have certain moments where I try to prioritize breathing, I may see more positive results. The author was right in stating that your breath is truly the only reliable component in your life. From the moment of birth, to the moment of death, your breath is the only thing that is there 100 percent of the time without fail. The article stated, “it is your breath which holds you and your body together,” and that could not be more spot on.

    • Geena, so good you have a practical application for conscious breathing with your singing career. I hope that your future essays will be invested with more in depth personal experiences, adding relevant comparative resources as well comprehensive review of the initial posted article or video as in this case….OM

  41. As someone that suffers from severe anxiety, and thus, frequent panic attacks, breathing is the one thing I use in my daily life to keep me stable. As Sadhguru stated, it is the one thing to focus on to keep yourself moving in one direction. I constantly find that half of me is panicking about school work, and half of me is panicking about relationships, while a third half (which isn’t even mathematically plausible??) is panicking about wanting to clean my room, and a fourth half is panicking about needing a shower and needing to sleep and take care of ymself, and I feel like my body is split in so many different ways. It is in breathing, however, that I am able to glue everything back together and find a moment to make sense of everything that is going on around me. The practice of yoga has significantly helped me focus my breathing skills, however, and has been able to reduce the overwhelming panic I face daily.

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