giveaway! introduction to yogic breathing with doug keller

giveaway! introduction to yogic breathing with doug keller

We all breathe. Whether or not we pay attention to our breath, we can’t deny it’s a powerful tool that induces relaxation and well-being. The breath affects our peace of mind, our long-term health and how well we age.

There’s a lot of talk about the breath in yoga. In a regular class, we’re told when and when not to breathe, and we’re also given mysterious instructions to “breathe into” parts of the body. Despite all this talk about breathing, many of us don’t understand our own breathing patterns or the basic physiology of the breath.

IAYB and beloved sponsor Yoga U Online have teamed up to give away three copies of their upcoming course, Yoga, Breath & Health: An Introduction to Yogic Breathing with Doug Keller (taking place on two Wednesdays, March 5 and 12). This two-part online class explores the basics of healthy breathing and best practices for helping students develop more healthy breathing patterns.

You will learn the anatomy of healthy breathing, common patterns of unhealthy breathing, simple introductory breathing practices, and much more. Doug Keller is a renowned yoga therapist and the author of several books on yoga and pranayama. He has practiced and trained in the Iyengar, Ashtanga and Anusara systems of yoga, and offers workshops around the world. For a full introduction to Keller and his work on the breath, download (for free!) this interview.

To enter the giveaway ~ answer the following question in the comments section below: When do you pay attention to your breath? (It doesn’t need to be a specific time, but can be general or during certain activities.)

Leave your comment before 5pm, Friday, February 28. Three names will be chosen at random and contacted by email.

**Please note that the email addresses of all comments will be added to the IAYB weekly email list; if you’d rather not be added, simply write OPT OUT at the end of your comment.

Featured image by Tanya Burr via

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  1. I focus on my breath once every 10 min 🙂

  2. Good question. I really don’t know how often I pay attention to my breath. I know when I do regularly: when practicing yoga, when waking up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, when walking the dog (yes, really). But otherwise . . . probably not so much. Definitely not every 10 minutes, I know that!

  3. When practicing yoga, meditating, or when particularly stressed out as a way to calm down.

  4. at least once a day I sit with my eyes closed and observe my breath. Usually it happens when I need to step away from what I am doing or thinking 😉

  5. When I’m stressed and feel I just have to do something about it, I try to prolong each breath. It always amazes me how hard it is and how, before focusing on the breath, unaware I was my breathing was shallow and choppy.

  6. In Beijing we have had eight days of air quality in the Hazardous range (or worse, ‘Beyond Index’ which means that the World Health Organisation’s scale doesn’t categories numbers that big). Putting a mask on to go outside, planning your life around limiting exposure to the pollution, all draw attention to the breath. And then tonight it has rained and the numbers have slid back down the scale – we rejoiced at “Very Unhealthy”, “Unhealthy”, “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” and it seems to be resting the last couple of hours at “Moderate”. Each hour the number invites attention to the breath – and gratitude!

  7. I focus intently on my breath while working out (yoga, running, spin class, etc). And I try to focus on the breath when I’m anxious or upset.

  8. I have a long term relationship with my breath! When doing yoga, or other practices, its easier to pay attention to breath because all my focus is concentrated on the task at hand. When engaged in activities where my mind has a tendency to wander such as computer work, reading, walking down the street, or housecleaning, I tend to direct my attention to breath as a means to integrate this awareness of yoga breath into my everyday life.

  9. During physical practice of yoga, separate pranayama practices, meditation, and perhaps most importantly, I bring my full awareness and focus to my breath often throughout the day during times of stress and when otherwise faced with challenges. I also come back to my breath during the day to initiate Dirga Pranayama (i.e., the complete yoga breath, three-part breath), fully inflating/deflating the lungs to nourish my body and center the mind with the uptake of oxygen, nutrients, and prana, and to clear the mind/body of “garbage” (detoxification in the conventional sense).

  10. I like to do what I think if as reverse breath awareness in some ways – rather than setting aside time to focus on my breathing I constantly reflect on my breath and use that as a cue for how I am faring throughout the day. As a mental health counselor in a community setting, I spend a lot of my time running from client to client and helping people process some of their deepest, most traumatizing concerns. Checking in with me breath at least between every client, if not more often, helps me realize when I am starting to take on some of my client’s anxiety, depression, etc and reminds me to reconnect with a slower, steadier breath.

  11. I try to pay attention to my breath in difficult situations – or rather, situations where I make things difficult for myself… I often remember my favourite BKS Iyengar quote: “Don’t think of yourself as a small, suffering thing. Think of yourself as gracious and expanding, no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time”. That feeling of grace and expansion usually helps me to become aware of my breath.

    A time where this really worked well was last summer, when I was swimming in an open-water swim-run (don’t ask… you swim from island to island and run across the land. It’s fun. Believe me.). There was a heavy wind and I’m not a good swimmer, so at times I felt like I was about to drown as the waves kept crashing into my face. My breath was high and shallow and I became panicky. Then I remembered the quote, saw myself fighting my silly battle, and tried instead to become gracious and expanding. I stopped fighting so much and took a few deep exhalations… my heart rate went down, I started to see the fun of it and had a great time. And finished in a not-too-bad time too.

  12. I focus on my breath when I’m doing asana, when I’m teaching asana and usually while laying in bed both as I’m going to sleep and as I’m waking up. It’ll come in at other times of day — but usually because I’m thinking about yoga!

  13. When I practice yoga, drive or before I go o sleep. Also on an airplane.

  14. Just wanted to say that more than ever it seems to me that breatwork is one of the very best things you can do for yourself. It activates this magical inner energy we all have in an especially powerful and direct way. Yoga and meditation do as well, but more gently. Just love the bliss!