This technique can be attributed to physical concentration, as well as the technique of awareness of sensations in the body. Breathing awareness has a double benefit.

Physically – benefits for the body. Using this method, we do not forget to breathe (as is often the case with beginners) and do not hold our breath while performing difficult poses including in the process of Thus, the body receives a sufficient amount of oxygen.

At the mental level, the development of awareness. Through this technique, we prepare ourselves for meditation.

What are the options for concentrating on breathing?
Natural breathing tracking
Here you do not control the breath, but only observe it. It is allowed to lengthen breathing a little. This is especially true during power asanas and after vinyasas, where breathing can go astray and become quick and shallow. If you forget to monitor your breathing, you can mentally pronounce “inhale” as you inhale and “exhale” as you exhale.

Long breath control
Here you are trying to equalize the length of in-breaths and out-breaths. You can do this intuitively based on your senses. Or say to yourself “inhale-two-three-four-five” and “exhale-two-three-four-five”, if, for example, you decide to breathe in five mental counts.

In a group lesson, this breathing format may not always be convenient. For example, if you come to a lesson in Vinyasa Yoga. There is a constant change of poses, the transition from one pose to another. And often the instructor says where to breathe in and where to breathe out. If the transitions are more dynamic than your chosen breathing rhythm, then you will breathe “out of place”: inhale and exhale in your own way, and not when the instructor speaks.

But if a group lesson is held in a static mode and involves a long retention of poses, you can periodically add such a concentration technique to your practice.

Ujjayi breath
This type of breathing is a combination of pranayama and asanas. Such a horse is used in such a style as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. But in the practice of Hatha yoga, it can be applied on a regular basis or from time to time. Hissing breath can be used throughout the session, excluding savasana. There you return to your usual breathing.

Breath mantra.
There are many mantras in yoga, one of which is the breathing mantra – So Ham. Its name is due to the fact that its sound is similar to inhalation and exhalation. Repeating the sound “So” on the inhale and “Ham” on the exhale, you plunge deeper into concentration. Also, this mantra allows you to level the duration of inhalation and exhalation.

While repeating the mantra to yourself, it is advisable to understand its meaning. Mantra SoHam means “I am!” or “I am consciousness!”

Breathing is another way of concentrating. This method can be combined both with the concentration on the physical sensations in the body, and with the methods that I will cover next time.