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Why We Focus on the Breath

Why do we need to give attention to breathing?

When we practice yoga it's important to send our focus to our breath. It calms the nervous system, leads to improved organ function and digestion while expanding lung capacity. By breathing more efficiently you can improve cardiovascular health (lowered blood pressure) and mental health.

You don’t need to practice yoga to bring attention to breathing. Taking moments in your day to sit in stillness, to inhale with control, and exhale with control can make such a difference. When we take moments of stillness in our practice we call this Pranayama. Prana - root of prana (or life force), ayama - to extend or prolong.

When I teach my classes I continue to remind students to breathe! ‘Remember your ujjayi breath’. Throughout your practice focus on breathing, when holding a poss, and transitioning to a poss - the breath with help you.

You can get deeper into a pose, hold it for longer and really tune out from the outside world and thoughts when you practice using your breath - it's a powerful tool I encourage in EVERY class.

Pranayama can be an enhanced version of this making it evermore powerful.

Pranayama (breathing exercises) vary and I personally like to use some sort of Pranayama to every beginning and ending of my classes. Not only does it bring calm and peace to my students, but it also brings calm and peace to me ;)

For me, pranayama and using ujai breath in my practice has had a dramatic effect and I want to share that benefit with others. I always receive feedback that students feel that sense of calm they crave from my practices so I know it works. Try it for yourself, on or off the mat, notice how you feel. It's a free gift that keeps on giving. :)

Jessica Cox

Alignment & Mindfulness Yoga Teacher

Holistic Health Coach

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