If you have control of your breath, you have control of your mind.
Breath in Sanskrit is Prana and yoga actually incorporates “breath control” which is called Pranayama. The basis of this is that it channels and releases the body’s internal energy. Life incorporates so many things that we just cannot control. Traffic, weather, general stressors, and the early yogi’s realised that we, as humans have this need to try and control it and gain some stability. Now, personally, I would agree with that, and yet even though we try our hardest, so much is out of our control no matter how much we try. The weather, for example, I’ve been caught in the rain or even the cold despite having checked multiple forecasts so many times. Things happen. Another thing about humans, a lot goes on in our minds, we live pretty busy lives. I’m sure at some point you’ve been thinking of like, at least 5 different things at once. What am I going to do for dinner? Do I have food in the fridge? Did I remember to lock the door? Did I do my homework? When was the deadline for that coursework? Will I have time to pop to the shops before picking up the kids? That kind of stuff. I don’t have kids, but I have little sisters that I pick up from school when I can and I appreciate the time issues and stresses parents have.
Sometimes its hard to quieten all of the noise in your head, and your breath can show that. You get nervous, your breath shortens and quickens, some people hyperventilate, and that can just make things worse. But, yogis discovered that if you even out your breath, you can even out your mind and calm the thoughts so they don’t keep jumping around and stressing you out.
So, apart from quieting your mind and calming you, what other things make breathing important in yoga? Well. Without getting too philosophically yogic here, it allows you to tap into the greatness that you have within you and harness it to really do your best. Say you’re doing your yoga practice, instead of giving energy to floating thoughts, you’re instead channelling that energy to focus on what you’re doing. I love this feeling. Because I am a bit of a worrier. I worry about stuff and I have been known to stress myself out a bit. But my best practices have been where I’ve been able to let go. A lot of the time I follow youtube videos, so I’m able to focus on my breathing, listen to what I’m supposed to do and that’s it. It’s me, my mind, my mat and whoever is teaching me. And, unfortunately (in a way), the time just flies by.
This control of your breath isn’t just for your yoga, this can help you in just everyday life. Whenever you get nervous, worried or any feeling really where you feel you need more control and clarity, practice breath control!
In the future, I plan on going into a bit more detail about the different breathing exercises that you can do to gain control, so stick with me if you’re interested and click the follow button to receive alerts when I post new stuff!
“Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.”
Thanks for reading,