Sometimes when I go for yoga sessions, the teacher will always remind me to breathe when I am holding the poses. When some poses are challenging, subconsciously my breathing becomes
inconsistent or I will be holding my breath. I was too focused to get the stretch and the balance from the pose that I neglected my breathing. For every inhalation, the lungs expands, spine lengthen and heart rate increases. This makes opening poses like backbending to be easier. For every exhalation, the lungs contracts and heart rate decreases. This makes twisting pose and forward bends easier. My impression of yoga is to be able to hold those poses and as a form of strength exercise. I never clearly understood why some breathing exercises were introduced during the session. These are called prayanamas. For example, one of the prayanama is Ujjayi. This breathing technique is usually used in strenuous poses for more concentration when holding the challenging pose. Being aware of your breath is important when doing asanas. If the breathing is relaxed, the mind will be relaxed and then holding the asanas will be stable.
Jeslyn YTT Jan’17