Yoga Quotes About Breath

Often when I get stressed or anxious I focus on the simple things – like my breathing. It sounds super simple – and it is!

Also, much of yoga is really about proper breathing. If we don’t learn to control our breath, our breath will control us. Buddhist teachers have known this for thousands of years and this is why they have incorporated it into yogic teachings.

So, here are some of my favorite yoga quotes about breath. I hope they help you focus on your breath and stay balanced.

Please let me know your favorite quote in the comments!

My Favorite Yoga Quotes about Breath and Breathing

1.Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, & author

2 “You say that you are too busy to meditate. Do you have time to breathe? Meditation is your breath.”

– Ajahn Chah, Buddhist monk & author

3. Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” – Dr. Andrew Weil, Integrative medicine physician & author

4.“When the breath wanders the mind is unsteady, but when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still.” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 500-year-old yogic text

5. “One conscious breath in and out is meditation.” – Eckhart Tolle, author & speaker

6. When I stopped to pay attention to where my breathing was deep and settled, the truth began to emerge from the mist. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon 

7.He who only half breathes, only half lives. ~Sanskrit proverb

8. In contrast, the elephant and turtle are slow, deep breathers and consequently have calmer personality and longer lives.”

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– Dr. Ananda Bhavanni, researcher & yoga therapist


9.“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, & author

10. “Breath is the thing that connects us to the entire biome….So there’s this complementary pattern where we breathe in what the Earth breathes out. When we breathe out the Earth breathes that back in again. And this process of breathing in oxygen into our bodies is a process of transformation. We are literally breathing the outside into ourselves.”

– Charlie Knoles, meditation teacher

11.“Breathing meditation can quiet the mind, open the body, and develop a great power of concentration.”

– Jack Kornfield, meditation teacher & author

12. “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”

– Amit Ray, author & yoga teacher

13. “Breath is life.We should pay as much attention to it as any other aspect of beingness.”

– Swami Nostradamus Virato, yoga teacher

"When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive to breathe. To think. To enjoy. To love." - Marcus Aurelius

14. All your blood flow goes into your internal organs and into your brain and metabolism, or better said, energy is being rejuvenated and restored and no energy is leaking out to address emergency situations, to address threats.”

– Dr. Joe Dispenza, neuroscientist & author

15. “By changing patterns of breathing we can change our emotional states, how we think, and how we interact with the world.”

– Dr. Patricia Gerbarg, Harvard-trained psychiatrist

16. By consciously slowing down the breath and making it rhythmic so that consciousness is not disturbed by it, we can achieve corresponding tranquility.”

– Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, psychologist, philosopher, & researcher

17. The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe. ~Terri Guillemets

18. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~Oprah Winfrey, 2002

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19. The yogi’s life is not measured by the number of his days, but by the number of his breaths. ~B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala, 2001

20.Pranayama is… the science of breath. It is the hub around which the wheel of life revolves. ~B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala, 2001

21. Full breathing lets in power. It permits an influx of power to every part of the body. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, Practical Methods for Self Development, 1904

22. Our breathing is designed to help us release any tensions that have become so much a part of us that we no longer sense their presence. ~Carla Melucci Ardito

23. Breathe and you dwell in the here and now. ~Annabel Laity


24. Happiness breathes when you do. ~Terri Guillemets

25. Nose breathing is the first principle of right breathing. Mouth breathing is inadequate to the needs of the human organism. ~H. Addington Bruce, Nerve Control and How to Gain It, 1918

26. Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. ~Giovanni Papini (1881–1956)

27. The most powerful tool for healing lies within you — your breath. ~Deborah Davis, Women’s Qigong for Health & Longevity: A Practical Guide for Women Forty and Older, 2008,

28.Deep breathing is the greatest cure for all physical ailments. ~Edward Lankow (1883–1940)

29.When the Breath wanders, the Mind is unsteady, but when the Breath is still, so is the mind still. ~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

"When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath."  -Svatmarama

30. For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth. ~Sanskrit proverb

31. Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God. ~Krishnamacharya

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32. When you are depressed and life is a snarl, then is the time to QUIT THINKING and just go out and breathe and breathe. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, Practical Methods for Self Development, 1904

33. The practice is simply this: keep coming back to your breath during the day. Just take a moment. This will give your mind a steadiness and your breath a gracefulness…. There’s so much to let go of, isn’t there? Your nostalgia and your regrets. Your fantasies and your fears. What you think you want instead of what is happening right now. Breathe. ~Rodney Yee, Yoga: The Poetry of the Body, 2002

34. One should cultivate the habit of full breathing, through the nostrils, at all times. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, Practical Methods for Self Development, 1904

35. Our breathing should be pleasant and joyful. If you are ever unsure about what to do, go back and enjoy your breathing. ~Thich Nhat Hanh, “Enjoying Our Breathing,” 1998, published in The Path of Emancipation, 2000,


Related Yoga and Meditation Quotes:

Video: Breath — 5 minutes can change your life 

Stacey Schuerman leads us through an exercise designed to reset, renew, and rejuvenate our energy, as  she teaches us about breathing and calming the mind. Stacey is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, and the Co-Owner of SunSpark Yoga, a family owned, community focused yoga studio in the heart of Old Towne Orange.

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