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Attention to the breath is an important element of any hatha yoga discipline.
In yoga for beginners, you learn to use the breath dictate the length of time it takes to move into a posture. The benefits of regulated breathing in hatha yoga disciplines include facilitation of healing, preparation of the mind for meditation, and invigoration of the body during asanas.
Yogic breathing means inhaling and exhaling deeply through the nose. Breathing through the mouth is rare in yoga practices, although there are exceptions. If you are a beginning yoga practitioner and you have a hard time breathing only through your nose, don't worry about it; you will develop the skill as you continue to practice yoga. Meanwhile, don't hold your breath because you don't want to breathe through your mouth. Holding your breath limits how deeply you can work in a pose.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|