“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I find the breath is a powerful aspect of yoga practice. The Sanskrit word “yoga” means “union.” I think of the breath as the invisible thread that draws together body, mind and spirit — and which therefore can help to keep us “together” once union has been accomplished. Returning the mind to focus on the breath helps me relax at the start of yoga practice, letting go of the stories of the day that swirl in my mind. Returning to the breath helps me stave off distraction when I am practicing yoga postures. And at the end of a yoga session, the focus on the breath allows me to maintain the peacefulness generated by practice even as I shift my mind back toward the rest of the day. My ongoing intention is extend that residual calm further and further into the day, the week, the month, so that some day I might walk into practice still full of the calm from the previous practice. Full union of body, mind and spirit!