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Breathing Exercises during Yoga

Before a yoga class starts, it is a good practice to do some breathing exercises while waiting for the teacher. Breathing exercises help you to become more aware of your body. Perception and awareness is very important to yoga and as human beings we are basically trapped in our minds, we sometimes lose awareness of how our bodies are feeling and lose focus on what body parts might be paining us.

As you begin the class many yoga teachers will tell you to clear the mind (easier said than done), to leave the past and future behind and focus on the present moment. With practice such brain exercises can build your mental self-control, and knowing a few breathing exercises you can focus on helps build this self-control.

If you think about your breathing, practice different breathing patterns and do it consciously you will notice it requires your concentration to do. Trying to do so while distracted will cause you to revert to your natural breathing pattern and to daydream about other things.

When combined with yoga movements, you add an extra level of difficulty to your yoga activities - but after awhile it's amazing how easy that becomes.

When many people start a yoga class their mind is a mess. Even without thoughts of what needs to be done, they are probably stressing over the idea of being in a challenging class for 60 or 90 minutes. By the time class is over, you may feel that it not only did it feel like a mere 15 minutes, but you may feel mentally and physically refreshed. (Although to be fair, some yoga classes will be more exhausting and leave you tired, sweating and hungry.)

In which case breathing exercises are also good to do AFTER yoga. It will help keep you feeling relaxed and refreshed (or relax you after a particularly grueling yoga lesson).


Try breathing naturally, at your own pace, and count your breaths to 10. Sounds pretty simple, right? Yet due to our wandering minds, most of us lose track many times along the way. When it happens, start over again without frustration or worry. Its the learning process and journey that matters, not how many times you fail. Counting your breaths is not a game to win or a skill to master. Instead, it's an instant, ever-handy way to deepen your awareness and concentration.

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