Understanding your breath in a yoga practice

Yash Godbole, Founder | Deep Yoga

1/7/20242 min read

silhouette photography of woman doing yoga
silhouette photography of woman doing yoga

Yoga is not just about stretching and twisting your body into various poses. It is a holistic practice that encompasses the mind, body, and breath. One of the fundamental aspects of yoga is the focus on breath control, also known as pranayama. Understanding and harnessing the power of your breath can greatly enhance your yoga practice and bring about numerous benefits to your overall well-being.

Breath as a Foundation

In yoga, the breath is considered the foundation of the practice. It is the link between the body and the mind, connecting the physical and mental aspects of our being. By consciously controlling and directing the breath, we can influence our energy levels, emotions, and even our thoughts.

When we pay attention to our breath during yoga, we develop a deeper awareness of our body and its sensations. This awareness allows us to move with more grace and ease, preventing injury and promoting a greater sense of presence.

Calming the Mind

By focusing on the breath, we can calm the mind and bring ourselves into a state of relaxation. Deep, slow breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's rest-and-digest response. This helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension, allowing us to find a sense of inner peace.

Incorporating breath awareness into your yoga practice can help you let go of distractions and be fully present in the moment. It becomes a moving meditation, where the rhythm of your breath becomes the anchor that keeps you grounded.

Enhancing Physical Performance

Understanding your breath can also have a profound impact on your physical performance during yoga. By synchronizing your breath with each movement, you can flow through poses more smoothly and with greater control.

For example, when you inhale, you can use that breath to create space and lengthen your spine. On the exhale, you can deepen the stretch and release any tension in your body. This breath-body connection allows you to move deeper into poses and explore your physical limits in a safe and mindful way.

Connecting with Your Inner Self

Yoga is not just a physical practice; it is an opportunity to connect with your inner self. By paying attention to your breath, you can tap into your intuition and gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and thoughts.

As you breathe deeply and consciously, you may notice that certain emotions or memories arise. Instead of pushing them away, you can acknowledge and accept them, allowing them to pass through you without judgment. This process of self-reflection and self-acceptance can be transformative, leading to personal growth and a greater sense of self-awareness.


Understanding your breath is an essential aspect of a fulfilling yoga practice. It serves as a foundation, calms the mind, enhances physical performance, and allows for a deeper connection with your inner self. By incorporating breath awareness into your yoga routine, you can unlock the full potential of your practice and experience the transformative power of yoga on a holistic level.