Even though it can seem like yoga is all about doing poses, bending, and stretching, one of the most important aspects of the practice is actually how you breathe. Focusing on your breath, and connecting it to your movements, is a surefire way to make the most of your yoga flow. There are plenty of breathing techniques in yoga that are designed specifically to release pent-up anxiety and stress, so you can feel more mindful and focused while you move.
To give this type of breathwork a try, head over to the Yoga With Adriene YouTube Channel, where certified yoga instructor Adriene Mishler shares all sorts of yogic breathing techniques called Pranayama. According to YogaJournal, Prana means life force or “breath sustaining the body” in Sanskrit, and Ayama translates to “extend or draw out.” Together, pranayama means “breath extension or control,” which is exactly what you’re doing when you consciously inhale and exhale.
Whether you try Ujjayi breathing, or simply pay closer attention to your breath while you move through a yoga flow, it’s bound to make you feel more centered. Ready to give it a try? Scroll down for the best breath sessions from Yoga with Adriene.
Jayawardena, R. 2020. Exploring the Therapeutic Benefits of Pranayama (Yogic Breathing): A Systematic Review. Int J Yoga. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_37_19.
Ma, X. 2017. The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults. Frontiers in psychology. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874.
Tiwari, N. 2019. Yogic Breathing Instruction in Patients with Treatment-Resistant Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Pilot Study. Int J Yoga. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_22_18.