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Level 1
30 min

Cultivate Awareness of Your Breath

Restorative | By Jason Crandell on Apr 13 2012
100 out of 100 yoga teachers are likely to say that breathing is the most essential element of the hatha and vinyasa yoga practice. Yet, how often do teachers actually teach how to breath smoothly and skillfully? Speaking for myself, not often enough. This practice will create deep relaxation in your body and mind by cultivating awareness of your breath and subtle energy.


100 out of 100 yoga teachers are likely to say that breathing is the most essential element of the hatha and vinyasa yoga practice. Yet, how often do teachers actually teach how to breath smoothly and skillfully? Speaking for myself, not often enough. This practice will create deep relaxation in your body and mind by cultivating awareness of your breath and subtle energy.


  • Alexandra Scott     Dec 6th, 2014
    This was a sweet and relaxing practice. My only negative is that, as a restorative practitioner and teacher, I don't understand the thinking behind teaching a restorative pose & not leaving space for the students to expand into it. I found it quite annoying and distracting that Jason kept talking incessantly even after saying he was going to be quiet and give the posture time to sink in.
    • Jason Crandell     Dec 8th, 2014
      I completely understand where you're coming from, Alexandra. There are many different ways to approach teaching restorative postures and breath awareness. Leaving space and quietness for practitioners is clearly an excellent option. I also find that many students benefit from consistent instruction, especially when the focus on is on basic pranayama. The value in the instruction is that it can redirect students' attention, especially when the students are newer the to the process. Since this is a level 1 practice, I chose to provide a little more direction.
  • Katie Jo Krzywicki     Oct 14th, 2014
    A cleansing 30 minutes! Namaste
    • Jason Crandell     Dec 8th, 2014
      Thanks, Katie.
  • Raven Rose     Sep 5th, 2014
    this was just what i needed. wonderful instruction. excellent in guiding me into breath and restorative relaxation. thank you.
    • Jason Crandell     Sep 6th, 2014
      Thanks Raven!
  • Laura Madrid     Jul 17th, 2014
    thank you for this
    • Jason Crandell     Jul 17th, 2014
      Sure thing!
  • Kim-Maree Janszen     May 6th, 2014
    lovely way to get through the mid week wiring day slump!
    • Jason Crandell     May 6th, 2014
  • Luis Fernandez     Apr 14th, 2014
    Were can i get blankets like those?
  • Jeanette Johnson     Apr 6th, 2014
    I feel very relaxed and calmed. Thank You for this exercise.
    • Jason Crandell     Apr 7th, 2014
      My pleasure Jeanette!
  • Jane Voigt     Mar 9th, 2014
    Love this practice, thank you x
  • Leslie Morgan     Jan 27th, 2014
    Travel a lot and miss my yoga so this is a saving grace! Weeeeee
    • Jason Crandell     Jan 27th, 2014
  • Judith Stewart     Sep 17th, 2013
    This practice called out to me and i am so thankful it did. I was looking for some relaxed asana work after a long day, maybe because I felt I 'should' move my body and ignore the call my body and soul was givingc for what it really needed. I found this practice, moved on looking for a more physical practie, and I was pulled back to this video - twice :-) That was lovely. Thank you, Jason. You can feel your intention to give through your teaching. Sending my gratitude from the UK.
    • Jason Crandell     Sep 23rd, 2013
      Thanks, Judith! Maybe you can join me in London next year at Triyoga! I'll be there teaching from 8/1 to 8/31/2014!
      • Judith Stewart     Nov 19th, 2013
        Wow - Brilliant! I will certainly keep an eye out for you turning up on our shores. Triyoga is a wonderful space.
  • Aprille Walker     Aug 15th, 2013
    Have recently returned to a daily pranayama practice and truly enjoy this! Thank you for such beautiful attention to detail and focus! I was wondering if you have ever thought of putting more pranayama practices on Yogaglo?
    • Jason Crandell     Aug 15th, 2013
      Thanks, Aprille. And, yes, I'm planning on it.
  • Denise Meriwether     Jun 23rd, 2013
    • Jason Crandell     Jun 23rd, 2013
      thanks Denise.
  • Katherine Priore     Jun 10th, 2013
  • jacki Woodworth     Mar 2nd, 2013
    Hi Jason,

    Thanks so much for this wonderful pranayama class. I teach Vinyasa and Mindfulness classes in Doha, Qatar and have been curious about adding a very basic introduction to pranayama into the 90 minute Vinyasa classes. I agree with your comments regarding when to practice pranayama and so would love your opinion on sequencing a class with the intention to introduce the idea of a breath practice to students. I was thinking something like: 15 min warm up, 30 minute standing flow, 10 minute seated poses, transitioning into 10-15 minutes restorative to really slow things down and settle the system, then 10 minutes pranayama and 10 minute savasana?
    Thanks so much Jason. I enjoy all your classes and always learn so much!
    • Jason Crandell     Mar 3rd, 2013
      sounds like a good plan to me!
      • jacki Woodworth     Mar 9th, 2013
        Wonderful, thanks so much Jason.
        Have a great day!
  • Narelle Andren     Feb 15th, 2013
    Just beautiful....aaahhhhh!
    • Jason Crandell     Feb 16th, 2013
      Thanks Narelle.
  • Susan McConnell     Feb 15th, 2013
    Excellent basic pranayama class. Very relaxing.
    • Jason Crandell     Feb 16th, 2013
      Thanks Susan for the feedback
  • dar carman     Nov 15th, 2012
    Excellent thank you dar
  • Jason Crandell     Oct 18th, 2012
    Sarah - thank you very much!
  • Sarah Hon     Oct 17th, 2012
    Jason you are an incredible teacher. In all of the many and varied classes that you teach, I feel that I am in the safe hands of someone who is grounded in their own deep experience, excellent at communicating that experience, and teaching from the integrity of their heart. Thank you.
  • Jason Crandell     Aug 29th, 2012
    Jennifer - thrilled this helped ease the headache away! I'll add your breath work request to my list of possible future topics. Thanks!
  • Jennifer Pittam     Aug 25th, 2012
    Very much enjoyed and more or less worked a stress headache away. Also looking in a gentle way to the deeper implications of breath work over a period of time. Thank you.
  • Jason Crandell     Jul 13th, 2012
    Tracy - thanks! always nice to receive confirmation that practitioners like you are resonating. I'll add pranayama to my list.
  • Tracy Evans     Jul 13th, 2012
    Oh yum, soo relaxed right now! Always love the calm, measured delivery and subtleness of your classes. Deeply evocative. Thank you and more pranayama please!
  • Jason Crandell     Jun 1st, 2012
    jennifer - First of all, what you are experiencing is completely normal. It is much easier for most to work with breath reclining. In fact, I spent the first couple of years of my pranayama practice reclined 95% of the time. Please feel free to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Relaxation is a pre-requisite for decent breathing so continue to make comfort a priority. When you do periodically sit up, definitely sit in the most comfortable position for your body. Make sure you don't force it. Find comfort and let the breath come (and go).
    • Jennifer LaFleur     Jun 1st, 2012
      Thank you for the reminder that it's okay to lie down more if that's what works. I think I will do that, and ease in to the other positions. Be well!
  • Jason Crandell     May 30th, 2012
    Jennifer - do you use support under your seat? do you tense to stay upright? in what positions does your breath feel full and unrestricted?
    • Jennifer LaFleur     Jun 1st, 2012
      Lying down I can breathe all day long. I only am working on keeping my neck out of it. Seated, even on a pillow, I feel quite constricted. I think I am working too hard to stay upright. I've never been sure how much of my body should be active when seated like that, especially the belly and the thighs. I breathe a little more freely in a kneeling position, I think because it is easier for me to relax into an upright posture...
  • Jennifer LaFleur     May 30th, 2012
    I love, love your clarity. Whenever I sit upright, my breathing always feels very shallow. Any suggestions?
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 25th, 2012
    Michelle - thank you!!
  • michelle reid     Apr 24th, 2012
    Great class thank you.
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 18th, 2012
    Dr. Arya - Thank you!
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 18th, 2012
    Lainie - welcome back and hope your back is healing well.
  • Tammy O'Rourke     Apr 17th, 2012
    First pranyama class I have taken. I loved how you kept reminding us "do not impress yourself." I needed that reminder!
  • Dr. Arya Nielsen     Apr 17th, 2012
    Perfect restorative after travel and a long day of work
  • Lainie Devina     Apr 16th, 2012
    5 weeks post significant back injury... this is my first class back - Breath is all that I have had for weeks... Feeling blessed to have opened yogoglo and seeing this class front and center. Thank you Jason, it was lovely (and Kim too!).
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 16th, 2012
    Caitlinn- thanks for practicing with me.
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 16th, 2012
    Kz- thanks for your feedback!
  • Caitlin Caitlin     Apr 16th, 2012
    just what i needed this morning, thank you.
  • K Z     Apr 16th, 2012
    thanks for this, always looking for the breath within the practice to be soft and unforced... and just to rest with the breath itself is good stuff.
  • yogagal      Apr 14th, 2012
    some pause time between direction would be nice, so can experience my own sensations.
  • Jason Crandell     Apr 14th, 2012
    Dar - glad you took time for the tutorial!
  • dar carman     Apr 13th, 2012
    both serving, and shavoring..thank you. I too only teach very basic breathing...truth I dont always "get " all the others..yet:) peace,dar