Connection with the breath is the core of any yoga practice, and especially important for finding calm. We possess a uniquely human ability to consciously control aspects of our breath, such as how fast and how deeply we breathe. This ability means breath is a bridge between the body and the mind. The use of slow and conscious breathing initiates a relaxation response and grounds us.
We’ll explore the relationship between breath and the nervous system in more depth in Section 3. But for now, let’s begin with a breath awareness practice called cellular breath. Cellular breath is a wonderful journey inward that helps us stay present and grounded. The practice of cellular breath teaches us to focus on the pure sensations of natural breathing; We become able to feel how our whole body is actually breathing as every cell receives oxygen. This practice is a subtle but powerful way to slow down and gently connect with the presence of breath throughout the body.
Come to a comfortable reclined posture where you can rest. If it feels comfortable to close your eyes go ahead and close them. If not that’s uncomfortable, allow your eyes to soften and your gaze to lower.