Why Focusing on the Breath is Essential During Asanas

Sadhguru answers a question on why we should focus on the breath during asanas, and how the breath offers a possibility to experience the human system more profoundly.
Why Focusing on the Breath is Essential During Asanas

Questioner: Why should we focus on the breath during asanas?

Sadhguru: Your mind and emotions need a single object to focus on. If both of them stay with the same object, you are at maximum ease. If your body goes in one direction, your mind goes in another, and your emotions go in yet another direction, you will be struggling. Let’s say you have a job that you are very involved with, a family at home, and an affair on the side, you will be in a lot of mess – never at ease. Only if your body, mind, and emotions are focused in one direction, you will be at total ease.

Nothing and no one – neither your job nor your wealth nor your family nor your love affair – are as reliable as your breath. As long as you live, it will always be there. It is the most steady and reliable thing to focus your mind on. If while doing an asana, you do not focus your mind onto the breath, it will go all over the place. Therefore, focus on the breath. If I take away your breath now, you and your body will fall apart. It is your breath which holds you and your body together. This kurma nadi, as we call it in yoga, is like a thread that ties you and your body together.

If you constantly stay with your breath, if you really travel with it, one day, you will understand where you and your body are linked. Once you know this, you can hold your body at a distance, and all your trouble and suffering will be over. All the trouble and suffering in your life arise from your body and your mind. If you can hold your body and your mind at a distance to yourself, this is the end of suffering. And only when there is no fear of suffering, a human being will dare to explore his life at full stride.

So, being with the breath is very important. One thing is your mind has a steady companion to stay with. Anyone may leave you, but your breath will not leave you until you die. And another thing is it will transport you to a place where you and your body are linked. If you don’t want your life to be determined by multiple factors of compulsiveness, if you want to do or undo your life by choice, it is important to know this place.

Take a look at the Hatha Yoga Guide, where Sadhguru elaborates on many more aspects of Hatha Yoga that can deepen your practice and experience of this profound technology.

Hatha Yoga Guide

Editor’s Note: Isha Hatha Yoga programs are an extensive exploration of classical hatha yoga, which revive various dimensions of this ancient science that are largely absent in the world today. These programs offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore Upa-yoga, Angamardana, Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, Yogasanas and Bhuta Shuddhi, among other potent yogic practices.

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5 years 8 months ago

Namaskaram my Master!! What can I say except NamO namaha shri guru pAdukAbhyAm!!

5 years 8 months ago

By turning our focus on breath even when doing normal day-to-day activities, apart from the ease and a state of unshakable joy when the focus is on, I notice that the respiratory rate comes down gradually.

Sadhguru has talked how the total number of breaths in a life of an animal or a human being are fixed and the duration of their life span are connected with the rate of breathing. Also, by consciously lowering the rate of breathing, Sadhguru has talked about deepening / enhancing our perception. I am unable to find this blog article and if any of you find it, please link it as a reply. Pranam

5 years 8 months ago

True lines "neither your job nor your wealth nor your family nor your love affair – are as reliable as your breath"

4 years 10 months ago

Focusing on the breath during asanas is very important and necessary. In fact, focusing on your breath on every practice in yoga is important. The article describes nothing in this world is as reliable as your breath. Everything comes and goes, but your breath always stays. One can relate this to worries and stress. One may feel like worry is always there, always with them. However, what we don’t realize is that worry will also come and go. And at the end of the day, your breath will still be there. The only way we can be at peace with ourselves is if during an asana, we must try to focus our breath, mind, emotions, and body all in one direction. We need to bring it all at the same level. Personally, this is something which I struggle with. Sometimes in class, I have a hard time focusing all of my energy in one place. I have to try really hard to not let my thoughts distract me. My mind is constantly jumping from one thought to another. It will be a personal journey for me throughout this class to stay on track with my breathing. Hopefully, I will soon reach my place of peace and I can finally understand where me and my body are linked. It will be that day, where I can finally overcome my trouble and suffering. That, day I will be free. And that day will indeed come soon.

4 years 10 months ago

Focusing on breathing is very essential in everyday life. You wouldn't be alive if you couldn't breathe. When doing this you need focus your mind and emotions on one single object. As a person i am very all over the place when it comes to focusing on one thing. I am a heavy over thinker on top of it which makes it hard for me to focus on just breathing correctly. In a yoga session i had a few years ago, i was told the only way to let air come through the right way is it let your mind and emotions be ailed with each other. Reading this text i found that your breath is the only thing you really got. Your job can come and go your love life can end but when you stop breathing your whole life is dead. Your breath is the most important thing in this life. Without it you would not be alive. This practice can be helpful in many ways i can't wait to try this again. As I am older than the last time i attempted it, i may feel different.