The Importance of Breathing While Performing Yoga Poses

By Ntathu Allen

As a busy mum, your time is precious. Whether you practice yoga at home, during your lunch break or at your local yoga studio, your main concern is how to get the most out of your time available. With so many pressing demands on your time, how can you make sure you receive the greatest benefit from your yoga lesson?

Learning how to breathe correctly, to use your breath to guide you through your yoga sequence and more importantly in the relaxation poses; is vital to help you keep up poise, balance and focus in your practice.

In yoga, your breath is the link between your mind and body. Yoga is about bringing harmony and balance to the body. Therefore learning how to breathe correctly, is essential to make sure you receive the maximum benefits from your practice.

What Happens If You Do Not Breathe Correctly

As a yoga teacher, I often see students struggle to hold themselves in poses. There are many reasons for this, such as, physiological and muscular imbalances, injuries and mental blockages. Poor breathing patterns restricts the amount of oxygen available to your cells. Your red blood cells are full of life affirming properties. Yoga improves your body’s metabolic rate, therefore, if you do not use your full breathing apparatus you restrict the rate of rich oxygenated blood circulating as you practice.

How Well Do You Breathe?

Most people when they start to practice yoga breathe very shallowly and breathe using only a third of their lung capacity – usually the top part of the lungs.

Take a moment and place your palms flat against your tummy, around your navel area. Now, focus on your hands and take a few steady breaths in and out through your nose. If you are breathing correctly, by using your full breathing apparatus, you will notice that your hands rise up when you breathe in and slowly sink back down when you breathe out.

How To Get the Most Out Of Each Breath

Yoga breathing places great emphasis on the out-breath. Proper breathing is a three-part process and governed mainly by the movement of the diaphragm. As you do your yoga poses, be aware of how you are breathing. You want to make sure you breathe fully and deeply. As you breathe in, first become aware of the belly expanding and filling your lower ribcage. As your lower rib cage expands, the breath flows up to your middle part of your lungs and finally up to your collar bones, bringing the air to the top of your lungs. A full yogic breath, enables your body to release waste products more efficiently from your organs.

Five Essential Benefits Of Correct Breathing During Yoga

There are many benefits to breathing correctly, especially during your yoga practice. Correct yogic breathing enables you to:

1. Focus on maintaining a steady pose, especially standing balancing poses such as the Tree Pose.

2. Improves your ability to concentrate – especially during meditation.

3. Enhances your body’s ability to eliminate toxic wastes.

4. Helps to calm your emotions, especially if you are going through a difficult emotional crisis and find it hard to settle into your yoga practice.

5. Improves your co-ordination and physical control of your body.

As you can see, learning how to breathe correctly, on and off your yoga mat, helps you to make the most of your yoga time. As a busy mum, anything you can do, which gives you more time and energy is vital to ensure you stay on top of all the complex and pressing demands on your time. The more you feel on top of things, the easier it is for you to spend time with your family and give your best at work.

And now I invite you to find out how easily you can weave core yoga techniques into your busy schedule when you visit and sign up for your FREE weekly Ntathu’s 101 Yoga Tips For Self-Care, Less Stress and More Relaxation e-newsletter at

Yoga Teacher, Ntathu Allen, teaches busy working women how to release stress and anxiety so you have more time, energy and space to care for yourself, enjoy being with your family and feel creative and productive at work.

Wishing you joy, peace and light.

Ntathu Allen

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