The nature of the in-breath is very different from that of the out-breath. The in-breath should never be forced. The deepening of the breath in yoga is achieved solely by focusing on gaining conscious control of the out-breath.

The Ancients knew that we can not force the breath in. It is as futile as trying to get a cat to do something she does not want to do. What we can do, however, is create the conditions for the in-breath to deepen on its own. Allowing the air to completely empty out of the torso creates an inviting space for a powerful in-breath to flow into.

The Sanskrit word for breath, prana, also means life-force. In our yoga practice we create a space for life-force to enter into us. That is what breath is all about.

 Abhay Ghiara is a teacher, writer, and Gandhian economist. He studied economics and yoga at Bombay University, graduating exactly 100 years after Mahatma Gandhi. He has practiced yoga all his life.

Abhay lectures on yoga and life in San Francisco, London, Bristol, Chicago, and Mumbai, India. photo: Maritstar

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