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"I help yoga beginners build firm foundations for a safe and sustainable home yoga practice so they can practice with clarity and confidence."


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Tue 02 May 2023

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (UTC+5.5)

Focus on the Breath: A Breath-Based Hatha Yoga Perspective

The first section of this session will consist of a short lecture focusing on the importance of breath awareness in asana class.

We will cover:

1) The science of the breath in terms of how it impacts our nervous system and vice versa, in particular how modern science is catching up with and reinforcing the wisdom of the ancient yogis regarding the physiological effects of the breath

2) Developing breath awareness in asana class, in particular how the breath guides the asana, not the other way around.

3) Two guidelines to keep in mind regarding the breath when practicing asana. The second section of this session will be applying the theory covered in the first section through a short asana class.

We will:

1) Begin with some breath awareness techniques

2) Transition through some beginner-friendly asana while keeping a focus on the breath (I recommend having a blanket nearby for cushioning, and a couple of blocks or alternatively robust, sturdy hardback books to use in the asana practice)

3) End with a few moments of meditation.


Ellie Smith

Yoga Instructor

Born and raised in rural Cornwall, UK, Ellie moved to Japan after graduating university in 2005 for a working holiday, and has been there ever since. Her early career began as a foreign language teacher working in private and public education institutions. Upon completing her MA in Applied Linguistics, she transitioned into the world of academia. She was first introduced to yoga in 2007, and began a regular practice soon after, largely focusing on the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series. 

Currently, she teaches Cultural Studies at a local university and also teaches yoga to members of her local community on the weekend. In her full-time work, she integrates teachings of yoga into the curriculum, mainly to help students improve their public speaking presence, self-confidence and resilience. She hopes to one day establish a yoga programme at the school to provide an additional method of support for interested students. 

She is the founder of elliesmithyoga.com which aims to provide clarity through resources and support for complete yoga beginners as they embark on this transformative practice. In her free time, you can find her curled up with her cats and a good book, exploring the local nature with friends, or planning her next overseas adventure. 


Sophia French

Host, Journalist

Sophia has been a journalist for over 15 years, and she has been practising hatha yoga for 20 years. She completed a yoga and Vedanta course at the Sivananda Yoga and Vedanta Ashram in Netala, and she's been practising hatha yoga in the Iyengar and Krishnamacharya systems. She is currently studying Indian philosophy and is a regular journalist