The breath is a clue to what you are experiencing. If you are doing yoga, watching where the breath speeds up or catches are clues to how poses make you feel and where you can make attempts to let go. Holding the breath is common when people concentrate or feel some strong emotion arise. Notice what it is that happens for you as you work with the following poses:
1. Tree – Vrksasana
2. Chair – Utkatasana
3: Triangle – Trikonasana
4. Child’s Pose - Balasana
5. Downward-Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
How does the breath move in each of these poses? See if you can watch without trying to change your natural habits at first. Just let what happens happen. Then, as you move through the poses a second time, see if you can keep the breath calm and steady. How much of a challenge is it? How does it feel to breathe in the poses rather than hold the breath or speed up?
Practice this during class and with other poses. It will give you a lot of insight into your own breath habits. In yoga, we say that the mind follows the breath. How does your mind seem to follow the breath when you hold or speed up? How does the mind follow when you are able to relax and smooth out the breath?
Pose of the Day: Whichever pose above produces the most change in breath, when you first try it.
Yogic Concept of the Day: Watch the breath as you go through your day to notice when you hold it and when it speeds up. Try just to observe without changing it at first. Notice how this seems to affect your thinking. Does the mind seem to follow somehow?