Why does yoga require mindful breathing?

May 8, 2020 |

Read Time: 3 minutes

Yoga is a union of our thoughts, speech and action – Kaya, Vacha, Manasa. Yoga is all about mindfulness. The goal of yoga is be in a state of complete clarity and calmness. One of the main tools used by Yoga to achieve this state of clarity and steadiness of mind is our Breath.

Breathing is perhaps the least activity that we even notice.  We all have taken it so much for granted.  Yoga is about making unconditional and un-noticed breathing into conditioned mindful breathing.

Yoga is the science of mind. Our mind is actually capable of extremely high level of concentration and absorption if we choose so.  But, at the same time the intrinsic nature of our mind is restlessness, agitation and distraction, – indeed the contrary!  It is said that the speed at which thoughts pass through our minds is faster than the speed of the wind! Yoga is all about reigning in this continuously moving and jumping mind to a stable, focussed and one pointed mind. The question is how to do this?

Mindful breathing

Our mind has a mind of its own!! And it’s almost impossible to just tell ourselves to stop the innumerable thoughts racing through our mind! And this is where the extremely critical and indispensable role of our Breath comes in. Our breath is the vehicle of our mind. The breath is the barometer which clearly reveals the state of our mind. Hatha Yoga Pradipika says that “if the breath is unsteady, our mind is unsteady and if the breath is steady, the mind too is stable and calm”.  And also all of us may find it easier to work on the Breath first, rather than trying to reign in our mind.

Yoga is about doing Asanas with complete focus on our breath. Yoga is about coordinating our body movements with the breath. Yoga is about a breath – based flow of movements. And all this is possible only if our mind is completely focussed on our breath and each movement is breath- based. When this starts happening, the kaleidoscope of thoughts in the mind start stilling and we start moving towards the highest potential of the mind , which is complete concentration and awareness. A mindful breath – based yoga practice is the foundation for a powerful stable and calm mind.

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Ms. Mimi Partha Sarathy

Founder, Managing Trustee and Sr. Yoga Teacher Sri Krishna Wellness Yoga Centre

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India