There is a saying in yoga that without the breath there is no yoga certainly that reminds us that it’s through breath training that we enter into a deeper aspect of our own lives and being and there are many benefits in doing that working with the breath is a healing process working with the breath makes us more sensitive to our internal maybe states of being and working with the breath reminds us that there is something living miraculously in our own beings that can be touched and voluntarily managed through breath awareness.

So, we are in the process of learning something about how yoga student Orient’s themselves to breathing in basic yoga breath work, it’s important to divide breath work into two parts one part we might call breath training the second part we might call pranayama these two aspects of breath work complement one another but breath training serves as the foundation and pranayama is the elaboration so an important step for every yoga student is to get started by working with the mechanics of their own breath how does a person breathe well of course this can be a kind of nervous making process if I think that I’m going to go in and examine my breath and perhaps even make adjustments to it I might be become more and more nervous about the whole idea and just leave it up to nature and not interfere but nature made the breath is a kind of doorway and that doorway is something that we can enter we can enter into our own selves through that breath awareness how the first step is simply to become aware of breathing the breath flows out and it’s not necessary to be aware of your breathing in a critical way but it is helpful to be aware of the breath in a way that allows you to access it as a means for working with yourself and that means becoming aware of breathing.

The two great streams of breath compliment one another the exhalation cleanses the inhalation nourishes and so these two breaths one after the other again and again are constantly doing their work cleansing and then nourishing carrying away wastes and replenishing with fresh energy I’ve sometimes thought about this wondering if these two small breaths can really ever get the job done one exhalation and one inhalation takes just a number of seconds and yet we imagine that by breathing and becoming aware of the breath we do something remarkably helpful to ourselves

There are a number of ways of thinking about it but one simple way is thinking about the amount of time it takes to breathe if you examine your breath you’ll find that you are breathing about 10 to 15 breaths in a minute those 10 or 15 breaths in a minute add up by the end of the day you breathed 21,000 times 21,000 breaths each cleansing and nourishing each emptying and filling the first stage in working with the breath and is simply to feel these two great processes within you and as you feel these two great breaths they perform their function without you being required to do anything beyond that bringing awareness to breathing however does change it a bit it changes it because whenever we’re aware of something we naturally begin to ask questions about it what is good breathing am i breathing well if I am breathing well or not so well what can I do change it and if I improve the quality of my breathing what benefits does it have one of the first stages to discover breathing is to recognize that improving the quality of breathing improves the quality of life.


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