In yoga we are moving toward enhancing our awareness of various aspects of our experience: body, mind, heart, and soul. An accessible practice that helps tie all of these together is our breath. Bringing awareness to the movement of our breath grounds us not only in the physical body, but in the present moment. Here we have the opportunity to notice any thoughts and emotions that may arise during our asana practice from a non-judgmental space.
While moving through our asana practice we can often lose our connection to our breath; with great compassion for where we are in our journey, we can notice when this occurs and gently guide our attention back to our breath. Cultivating this relationship between observing sensations and maintaining our breath regulates our nervous system and allows us to better tolerate any stress that we may encounter. Teachers often cue breath to help students build this mindful habit and, ultimately, carry this tool with them off the mat and into their everyday life.
-Meagan Cumming, http://meagancummingyoga.com/