Smile, breathe and go slowly

Why breathing is so important in yoga?
Before I joined this yoga teacher training program, I didn’t realize how import breathing is to our life and yoga .So you may think why breathing is so important as what I ask myself .
A yogi measures the span of life by the number of breaths, not by the number of years.
-Swami Sivananda
It is said that if you breathe 15 times per minute, you will live to 75 or 80 years. If you breathe 10 times per minute you will live to 100. The speed at which you breathe will dictate the length of life. If you breathe fast, your life will be shortened. This is why dogs have short lives.
For physical and mental functions, breath is very important. In Yoga practice, we integrate focus on breath during slow movements as well as while maintaining asanas or yoga positions.
If we focus on breathing, the control of breathing shifts from brain stem / medulla oblongata to cerebral cortex (evolved part of brain). The thoughts and emotions are by passed and mind can experience focus, and calm awareness. The emotional stress, random thoughts are removed. The emotions create tension in muscles, stiffness and blockages to flow of Prana. Awarenss of breath helps manage this emotional disturbances and makes the prana or energy free flowing.
Focus on breath while making movements also helps in controlling the movements, which reduce the chances of injury. The muscles work in a systematic way with greater coordination with nervous system. Neuro – muscular coordination is better.
When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. ~Author Unknown
Yoga recommends smooth, relaxed awareness of inhalation and exhalation during the practice. The mind is focused and the awareness can be concentrated on the positive thoughts.
Breath is Spirit. So let’s smile, breathe and go slowly.

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