I went to a yoga workshop many years ago and the teacher, at a point when we were all holding a really hard pose, said, you know why I encourage you to keep calm and breathe steadily?
We all raised our eyes, like yeah, really? When are we going to be released from the pose (this was Iyengar, which is much more formal than vinyasa and you stay until the teacher tells you to come out of the pose), already?!
She said, when you train yourself to breathe long, slow, calm breaths, when you’re in a difficult, stressful physical pose, you’re teaching your nervous system to keep calm under pressure. Wow. This was profound for me and such an off the matt lesson. Yoga, if practiced well teaches you many things, but keeping calm under pressure, training yourself not to overreact was not something that had occurred to me before. Next time you’re in a difficult situation. Breathe slowly & deeply.