I can be cranky when it comes to yoga classes. I love taking them but sometimes have to shut my ears to some of the instructions. “I can’t hear you breathing”, is a fairly common phrase to hear in a yoga class. I don’t know where this comes from but strikes me as a bit ludicrous. Why should the breath be loud?
As a yoga teacher my main teaching is that you need to be your own teacher. Is doesn’t make me superfluous as I am a good guide but everyone needs to figure out what they need to do independent of the person at the front of the room.
The ujjayi breath, a powerful breathing technique that brings great focus and depth to the practice is a great breathing technique. The ujjayi breath allows you to project your breath at a fairly high volume if you so choose but you need to think about why you should.
My take is that the power of the ujjayi breath shouldn’t extend beyond the boundaries of your mat. You should hear it within as a powerful and meditative force, but the person next to you shouldn’t have to listen to you breathe.
I remember when I first began practicing and I was grunting and groaning my way through the ashtanga first series when a neighbor turned to me and said, “The practice is hard enough without all the dramatics”. I took that very much to heart and quieted things down. I have since taken a less is more approach to my yoga practice and it has served me very well.
Feel free to weigh in with your opinion.