The role of the breath in yoga: why should you care? Because without intentional, conscious breathing, you are not quite doing yoga. You might be getting in great shape with gymnastics, but you aren’t practicing HA-THA yoga, which represents the union of the polar opposites. In sanskrit, ha means sun and tha means moon– opposites. The inhale and exhale are opposites, and we consciously connect them with the body movement.
The body movement IS the breath movement. When you lift your arms, does your body like to inhale, or exhale? Or think about a forward fold. The body has a preference; test it out!
The Four Principles of the Breath, per Krishnamacharya:
1. The breath starts and ends the movement. (Or, the breath lasts longer than the movement.)
2. As you inhale, the heart and ribcage expand. As you exhale, the belly flattens–pull the abdominals up and in.
3. Pause momentarily between each breath.
4. Use Ujjayi, or ocean-sounding breath, on both the inhalation and exhalation.
If you do all four of these principles, for at least seven minutes a day in as gentle of a practice as you like, I personally promise radical positive transformation in your life. I promise that you will find Love, Sex, and Intimacy, all of which pave the road to enlightenment.
Check out my teacher Mark Whitwell’s app, iPromise, for a led sequence. Also check out his book on amazon.com, The Promise of Love, Sex, and Intimacy. I will post more tutorials on Ujjayi breathing soon!