How can your body help your mind? How can we work on connecting them? What role does your breath play? The fourth session in this series, Connecting Mind and Body, will help to answer these questions.

A big part of yoga is breathwork and connecting your breath with movement. Often in yoga a particular movement is paired with either an inhale or an exhale. Some people think of the inhale as expanding and the exhale as extending. Our inhale is connected to the sympathetic nervous system (excitement), and the exhale is connected with the parasympathetic nervous system (calming). Our heart rate even increases as we inhale compared to when we exhale.

Yoga instructor Matt Sanford talks about the inhale as taking in and appreciating the world, and then exhaling yourself back into service to the world.

Have you really paid attention to your breath? Or how you breathe when you move? Or how changes in your breath may impact how you feel? Join Sanford and Greater Los Angeles VA Physician Indira Subramanian, MD, in this 9-minute video, which includes a meditative breath and movement practice.


You can also check out the other sessions in this series here on #LiveWholeHealth Archives – VAntage Point.

If you are interested in learning more about breathing and whole health, check out this handout: BreathingAndHealth-508Final-9-4-2018.pdf (

By Alison M. Whitehead, MPH, C-IAYT, RYT-500 is the program lead for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation

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Published on Jul. 4, 2022

Estimated reading time is 1.2 min.

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