Breath is #1 priority in yoga
How many times do you catch yourself holding your breath, red in the face and jaw all crisp up on your yoga mat? The chances are, several times lol!
I personally remind myself daily to breathe deeply and calmly as I step on the mat and do my practice. I keep pulling my mind back to the present moment, to the simple acts of breathing in and out and move with kindness.
In my opinion, learning to breathe properly in yoga should be our number one focus. Without an awareness of breath, then yoga isn't yoga, it's simply an exercise/workout. For what does "yoga" mean anyways?
Here are a few interesting definitions of the word "yoga":
1- The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root 'Yuj', meaning 'to join' or 'to yoke' or 'to unite'.
2-Yoga is a balanced state. Yoga is a balanced state of the body and mind. Yoga is a balanced state of emotions. Yoga is a balanced state of thoughts and intellect.
3- Yoga (/ˈjoʊɡə/(listen);Sanskrit: योग, lit.'yoke' or 'union' pronounced [joːɡɐ]) is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and still the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha).
In the beginning, learning to breathe in AND out through the nose can be a challenge for some people. So I always personally recommend my students to first get used to breathing in and out through the nose for a few weeks. Then, once that's mastered, I teach them how to breathe with the breathing method called (Pranayama) "Ujjayi"( Victorious breath). Which consists of a light constriction of the throat (often referred to as the Dark Vader breath because of the deep sound it makes), keeping your inhalations and exhalations equal in duration. I'll make a separate video for that.
In this video I explain why breath awareness is super important. I hope this helps you find more peace, strength and stability in your yoga practice.
Don't overstrain yourself, take it one practice at a time, let your body be your guide and don't forget to smile:)
Enjoy the video:)