Yogis have explored for centuries the links between mind and breath.
Modern scientific research is catching up on this as well and has demonstrated that this link is a two way street: The mind influences the breath, and the breath influences the mind.
In pranayama practice, we train the breath in order to train the mind.
In the Sati yoga approach, before we start training the breath, we first get acquainted with our natural breath through the practice of Anapana Sati (mindfulness of breathing). We then develop these two breath based practices together, as they complement and enrich one another.
Through Anapasati practice, we become intimate with our breath, learning to recognise its patterns and observing how it affects both body and mind.
Through pranayama practice we can correct unhelpful breathing patterns and learn to breathe more freely and completely. Pranayama practice also helps to develop better concentration.
This deeper concentration is used in Anapana sati practice to deepen our understanding of the breath as well as to foster inner peace, tranquility and balance.
For Pranayama and anapanasati practice, it is essential to sit upright in a comfortable posture. If possible, sit cross legged on the floor (on a mat or folded blanket), but if this is too difficult, it is also possible to kneel (possibly using a meditation stool or a zafu for extra comfort) or even to sit on a chair. Make sure the breath can flow freely and is not constrained by your clothing or by your posture. Do not lie down.