Free Your Breath, Free Your Mind

Meditation is easy in theory but difficult in practice – unless you can give your mind a vehicle for moving inward. In the yoga tradition, breath awareness is the key.

There are decisive moments in the flow of every meditation session-moments of transition that either sustain the momentum of practice or impede it. One of these occurs early in the meditative process, soon after relaxing the body and making it comfortable. At this point the mind naturally begins looking for a more subtle focus to carry it inward. What will that focus be?

In yogic meditation, the answer is breath awareness. Breath awareness relaxes muscles and organs, calms the nervous system, and centers the mind. It sets the stage for a profoundly penetrating concentration, and ushers in a sense of peace and well-being. Breath awareness is to meditation what good lighting is to fine photography-not its final goal, but indispensable nonetheless. Meditation unfolds through breath awareness.