Free Your Breath

Rodney Yee by Rodney Yee | April 22nd, 2008 | 4 Comments
topic: Yoga

Yoga Twist“He who binds the breath, binds the mind.”
Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

We spend years in pranayama, the art of breath control, trying to free up the breath. It is slippery business. So many times we end up with a manipulated breath from concepts given to us by teachers, books, videos, and countless other influences. This manipulated breath often just covers up our habitual breath, which is a deeply ingrained breath pattern that has been imprinted off our ancestors.

What is the breath inside the breath inside the breath? How in our yogic studies are we going to carefully dig out this priceless treasure? We start this archeological dig by freeing up the habitual tension in the gross body in our asana practice. The closer we can hover around our skeletal center, the more the muscular body can stay fluid. Simultaneously, in asana, we release tension in our organs through squeezing and releasing and through mindful relaxation in restorative poses. In meditation, we come to mental and emotional states of emptiness and states of non-identification.

These physical, mental and emotional states of fluidity set up the proper foundation for a natural breath. As we slowly and carefully make our way through this complex labyrinth of tension, identification, desire, aversion, and illusion, we can get glimpses of a free breath. This free breath is a breath that permeates easily throughout our entire being. It is a breath that sets the rhythm for our entire dance of life. It is a breath that intrinsically ties us to our environment. Free your breath and you will free your mind.


  1. Hi Rod.
    Glad that I found this site and appreciate your thoughts on the breath. It is a challange getting beyond the inherited breath, but the work has to be undertaken.

    I am hoping that you are still willing to write a forward for my book, Passion Beyond Pain. I finally have a publisher yet time is of the essence as the publication is only three weeks away.

    Sorry about using this method for communication, but I could not find any other way to contact you. Have a great time in Toronto.

    John I

    John Inzerillo, M.D. | April 22nd, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. Hi Rodney and Colleen,

    I live in Toronto and took the two day intensive class with the two of you. I wanted to thank you both so much for what you have given me and my students, friends and family. I’m a highschool teacher who strives to practice what I preach and preach what I practice. You will never know how much the two of you are now a part of me and what I teach . Thank you so much for freeing my body and, in doing so, freeing my mind and spirit.


    Tracey Reid | April 26th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. I am well aware how important breath is. Our inherited breath is often inefficient. All of us are reminded to “breath” in yoga classes and even told how. The same can be said for any other forms of exercise. But, how does one reach their truly natural breath? Are there DVD’s with this express purpose and do it well? If not, are there Yoga DVD’s that incorporate teaching natural breathing, well, within the rest of program?

    I appreciate your guidance. I have great respect for how you helped to bring yoga to more of the public.


    Laura | May 7th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  4. [...] Creating ideal alignment — sacred geometry — within the poses leads to ease of breath. [...]

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