in yoga, we focus on the breath. while different types of breath can have distinct energetic and physical effects on the body, the only real requirement that we have for survival is that we continue to breathe.
what is most commonly recommended in yoga classes is to close the mouth and breathe through the nose. doing this helps to filter the air as it makes its way into the body, altering its temperature and content to make it more favorable for use. if this method of breathing is difficult for you, whether it be because of a temporary illness or something long-term, do not force it. the breath you use should be calming and centering, and if you are constantly distracted by interruptions of coughing or restriction, you will have trouble getting past that.
sit back for a few moments and close your eyes. without making any changes to it, simply notice your breath. notice whether it is warm or cool, deep or shallow, smooth or choppy. are your inhales longer or shorter than your exhales? are they the same length? breathe for a minute or two and just notice. as your mind centers on the breath, you begin to feel more centered, calm, and aware. take your time. when you are ready to finish, open your eyes. remember this state is always accessible to you, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or angry. close your eyes, let go of distractions, and just breathe. ♥