1. Breath work is as important as physical exercise.
We often put so much emphasis on the physical aspect of exercise, it’s easy to forget that breath and rest can serve us. It’s nice to remember that when life feels overwhelming or unbalanced there are other amazing tools at our disposal. Pranayama (breath work) was an under-utilized tool that can be incredibly helpful.
2. Breathing deeply quickly balances energy and stabilizes moods.
A pranayama session is often the best choice when you need an almost-immediate result. Whether you need to calm the nervous system or a quick boost of energy, there's a breathing pattern that will help, and usually just a few rounds does the trick. Long term, the practice can help with all sorts of things, including anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, improved focus, and, of course increased self-awareness.
3. Conscious breath may allow you to experience mindfulness in a new way.
Pranayama offers insights you might miss if you’re practicing asana alone. As Tony Briggs wrote: “Quietness, stillness, and subtlety are much easier to glimpse and grasp in pranayama than they are in asana. The movements of the asanas, although beneficial in many ways, are also a distraction. When you sit or lie down in pranayama, the obvious physical movement of the body is gone, and you can concentrate on more inner qualities.”