The importance of breathing in yoga practice. By Nevşah Fidan Karamehmet
Most of us nowadays are filled with lots of stress due to the demands and rigours of life. That is why people practice yoga asanas. They help us relax the stiffness and the stress in our bodies so that our life force energy or vitality can run through us. And yet, if we are not breathing properly, even a regular yoga practice will not help us relax and heal as much as we would like. If we have dysfunctional breathing habits, our yoga practice will not benefit the body so much.
Breathing helps the flow of energy in our bodies and supports true relaxation. If we hold on to our breath, have breathing problems, dysfunctional breathing habits, the body tends to stay stiff, which can even lead to injury doing yoga practice.
Regular breath work sessions aligned with our yoga practice can support our physical health, immune system and flexibility as well as help us relax more and move deeper into asanas.
A breath work practice will also help to balance emotional shifts, neutralise negative feelings and thoughts, clear away fear and panic, and increase confidence, self-image and self-esteem. It can also help us cope with emotional disorders, improve personal and professional relationships, increase productivity, creativity, focus and clarity, develop and boost self-awareness. When we breathe better, we live better.
“Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding”
Thich Nhat Hanh
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First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.