proper breathing: “without proper breathing the yoga postures are nothing more than calisthenics” R. Schaeffer
Asana is a great forum to discover who you are as a breather. You know from past posts of mine that breathing is a vast topic, with many therapeutic uses and applications. I often work with private clients to dive into their breathing persona and uncover the areas that could benefit from specific asana to help them move toward “proper breathing”.
For some, and I think this is what the above quote refers to, the tendency is to hold the breath or use stressed out breathing (short and shallow) while holding a posture, especially in a challenging pose. This creates more stress and tension in the body. In yoga, we want to create a calm and relaxed body, breath and mind through the conscious use of the breath in asana.
In asana, the break is the link between the mind and body, so that as you learn the coordination of breath and movement, your practice becomes harmonious, and your breath deepens of its own accord, therefore increasing circulation and stimulating metabolism … Also since there is a huge correlation between emotions, thoughts and breathing practices, one can direct the breath to enhance muscle relaxation by concentrating on tense areas of the body and consciously relaxing those parts with each exhalation.