Joining Breath with Movement
“Yoga is as much a practice involving breath as it is involving the body.” – TKV Desikachar
The breath links the inner and out body. How we feel shows in our breathing. For example, when we feel pain or when we are distracted or anxious, our breathing changes. Under these conditions, the breath can be shallow, inefficient, and might over-rely on secondary respiratory muscles rather than the diaphragm. Exploring the link between our breath and our body’s movement is the first step toward changing uncomfortable or inefficient habits of movement and posture that cause stiffness and blockages of energy flow through the body.
Normally we are not conscious of our breathing – it happens naturally, involuntarily, and unconsciously. “For breath and movement to be coordinated, our mind must attentively follow their union. When we do this, inhalation and exhalation are no longer automatic but become a conscious process. Finding the natural link between breath and movement is the most important aspect of asana practice. It requires determining whether it is the inhalation or the exhalation that is amplified or made easier by a certain movement, and then making sure that that breath is the one we combine with the movement on which we are focusing.” (Desikachar 1995, 20).