The breathing during the yoga asana practice is an important factor as it brings both physical and mental refinement and it helps the practice to be more relaxed and natural. During the yoga practice the movements should be synchronised with the breath and the speed of the breath will determine the speed of the movement.
Basic principles of breathing during the practice of asanas:
- Expanding movements are made on the inhalation.
- Contracting movements are made on the exhalation.
- Twisting movements are made on the exhalation.
Bringing the breath to an area of tension also helps us to relax, and by listening and observing your breath you can also avoid to injure yourself. If you retain your breath or if it becomes shorter and forced it's a clear indication that the posture has been held for too long or that you are forcing yourself too hard.
Learn to work with the breath and you will experience a profounder connection in your yoga asana practice and gracefully flow with the movements.