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What to Do When I Get Distracted From My Breathing?

Q: So, sometimes as I'm trying new positions (most of them are new for me) I get distracted from my breathing as I work on figuring out how to get my body to do the move.  Is that less effective? I guess what I'm wondering is how to balance pushing myself vs. focusing on keeping the breathing going.

A:New yoga postures can be a real challenge, both mentally and physically. It is not at all uncommon to have trouble maintaining the breath while practicing new poses. Try to keep a balance there...What to do when I get distracted from by breathing? Don't let the pose distract you from the breath entirely... sometimes the breath will be unsteady as we practice the new postures. If you're holding your breath, back out of the pose. If you're having trouble breathing, modify and make the pose less intense or take a break! As you build endurance in yoga class it will be easier and easier to maintain a steady breath throughout the practice, even as difficult challenges arise. Just like anything, it takes time to learn something new!

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