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How does breath relate to body and mind?

posted Jan 21, 2010, 2:31 PM by Claramarie Burns   [ updated Jan 21, 2010, 2:34 PM ]

November 20, 2009

The breath, body, and mind are three expressions of one being, interdependent and interrelated. The body is the most material vehicle of human experience, and most of us are more or less unconscious of our bodies, until we begin practicing Yoga. Mind, in Yoga, refers to consciousness in its various aspects, for instance feelings, thoughts, perceptions. The breath acts as a bridge between body and mind, an energetic corridor connecting the two poles of our being dynamically.

Physically, the breath nourishes and cleanses the body, and the act of breathing serves to exercise & strengthen muscles, e.g., the diaphragm, healthy maintenance of which is crucial to physical well-being. Energetically, the breath is an expression or vehicle of prana, or life-energy; that which enlivens the body and maintains its internal and inter-environmental harmony. The breath harmonizes our emotions and mental activity, and calms both, at the same time as it impacts every part and system of the physical body.