In my last post, I described the Power of the Pause to enhance your connection to your internal terrain and unearth some of your unknown postural patterns. But, what can you DO in the pause?
We are immersed in a “doing” culture and that can make a down-regulating practice downright frustrating. The frantic mind can run in circles and inhibit the connection and impact of your pause. We all know the old saying, “Practice makes perfect” and that certainly plays an important role in training the mind to soften its hold on the experience within your body, but having a simple task can help too. I’ve recently learned a technique that, for me, works wonders as it differentiates the placement of my breath in my body, leaving the door open to feeling my physical experience.


Ardha Savasana or “Constructive Rest” is a great place for a pause.

My suggestion is to begin with a well-known pose or therapy ball rolling practice that you can perform with a measure of ease. Something both familiar and effective for your body. Then come into ardha savasana (laying on your back with your knees gently bent and your feet on the floor) or another mode of reclining that best suits you. Pause. Pause. Pause.

Begin to direct your inhale toward the lowest of your back ribs, allow the breath to descend along the back plane of your interior and feel the full sense all the way to the back of your pelvic funnel. As you begin your exhale feel the breath move to the front of your pelvic funnel and allow the breath to travel along the front of your abdomen, ribcage, chest and out your nose until the exhale is extinguished. Follow this looping breath for 5-8 cycles for a long deep pause as you notice the ripple effects of the initial action you chose.

Just a few moments in the Power of the Pause can help reintegrate your many separate parts into a fully felt whole that moves with ease, awareness and grace.


Enjoyed this article? Read Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Tune Up®: Match Made in Heaven


Kate Krumsiek

From the start, the practice of yoga did it all for me – fitness, awareness, breath, alignment and clarity of mind. My YogaWorks 200 hour training, with the divine Natasha Rizopolous, provided an exceptional foundation of yogic knowledge from which to learn, teach and cast a wide net for continued study. Yoga Tune Up teacher training refined my lens of understanding to shine it upon the anatomical and corrective aspects for practice – helping students, alongside myself, identify and address postural habits that impair efficient, effective movement in the body. Smooth joints, lean muscles and boosted proprioception make each visit to the mat an individualized, satisfying and fun exploration of the human body in motion and stillness.

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Andrew Chung

Lots of wonderful “ah-ha” moments as well as gentle reminders in terms of the art form of teaching. There is such a beautiful nuance and sense of imagery and sensation when YTU teachers speak/write about breath. Such rich imagery and precise language from the visualization at the end of the article to the title of finding the “echo of movement”. Appreciated the context of a “do-ing” culture and learning how to navigate around and even address it in your practice. Loved how the article explores an alternate way of teaching as far as directing the students attention away from the… Read more »

Julie Cadorette

Hi! I loved your article and was happy to finally hear someone say that down-regulating practice can be frustrating. Yoga teachers, including me, always talk about it like a miracle solution to calm down and relax, but we often forget all those people who wonder what to do when they’re doing nothing. I also believe breathing is a good place to start, a good thing to “do” when doing nothing!


I love the word “echo” of the movement. This is a nice way to reflect on your practice and look within to notice any subtle effects of a pose. Thank you for the looping breath. This would be a nice breath at the start of savasana also.


I really like the idea you pose of giving the mind something to do while pausing and the breathing practice you suggest is just detailed enough to hold ones focus while simple enough to allow one to relax and integrate and notice the echo of the movements just finished. Thanks Kate!


Thank you for sharing the “gift” of down-regulation as this is such an important part of practice; but, often too easily overlooked. Thank you for sharing the breath technique and providing essential tips on how to create a comfortable place to explore the “pause.”


Thanks Kate! I continuously and thoroughly enjoy your articles about breath and down regulating. cant wait for more.


I enjoyed your last past and was thus drawn to this one. When practicing and teaching, I get caught up on the trap of “doing” and getting through a sequence/poses. When we do this we can miss the beauty of the ripple effect that occurs from rolling or any pose/exercise. As you said, we are so caught up in moving fast from one thing to the next. My mat Mantra has become less is more which has significantly influenced my teaching. I see a difference in savasana in myself and my students when there are moments to pause, feel, reflect… Read more »

Cathy Corkery

I learned Constructive Rest from Liz Koch several years ago. Her emphasis on the pause helped me quiet my internal system after years of debilitating chronic pain. I love your breathing technique!


This is a helpful tip! I love tracing a pathway for the breath in my mind’s eye while I’m at rest. I have made several unsuccessful attempts in the past to “empty” my mind. In my meditation classes, we were encouraged to count to a specific number in order to achieve that relaxed state, but I found that I was able to count in my head AND maintain the mental chatter too! But, FEELING something in my body as a way to slow down and clear the mind truly brings me into the present moment. Thank you!

Megan Wylde

I typically suggest an abdominal thoracic breath, and I must say, that looping breath is fabulous. I love those pranayams which tune us into new sensate places or rhythms/ ripple effects. Thank you for sharing it! I will refer to it as looping pranayam unless you decide it’s something different!

I absolutely love the stillness after the pose to feel my sensate body. Because of YTU, I will pause many times a day, breathe and tap into sensation. It’s there all the time, I can always feel it. And it’s the most amazing home I could ask for.


I found the “moment to pause” a great life skill. It is the pause that reacts the space between action and reaction. It is the space that allows us to make inform decision, be in the moment and integrate.


Thank you Kate for reminding me that the pauses open the door to learning how to truly listen to your body and since how you are feeling at any given moment.

Mindy Micheli

I found this article, as well as its’ sister post “The Power of the Pause” incredibly helpful and encouraging. In the sheer “busy-ness” of everyday life, I am afraid that I often find myself hurrying through those highly beneficial and much needed moments of pause…which is crazy because I truly can feel a life-enriching centeredness – even a clarity, when I am able to let myself take the time! You answered my confusion as you made it clear to me that I need something simply and specifically outlined within my mind to fill my pause. The phrase you used, “works… Read more »

Giselle Mari

I appreciate this very simple non intimidating offering. There is so much about meditation these days and its benefits, but many people I encounter who are not in the yogic space, find that process scary or unsure if they can do it “right”. I like that you refer to it as a pause – its another great entry point to what is essentially an opportunity for us to check in. To also extend an option to be supine while experiencing this is something I’ve advocated for a long time, but not without scrutiny, as once again, its about creating spaces… Read more »


This mindful and novel movement of prana through the body feels amazing. Even your mindful pauses need to be somewhat novel so your own mindfulness doesn’t become a mindless rut where you’re just laying there. Thanks for the new breath tip!

Tami Cole

I fully believe in the “power of the pause” or “the gap” to help connect us with pure consciousness, awareness, grace. But I also notice in my own practice when I chase something (even if it happens to be nothing – ‘the pause’), I find that what I chase stays just beyond my reach. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful, well described breathing technique to guide “the pause” to me.

Sonya Perry

Thank you for sharing this breath technique. In it I felt a sense of spaciousness and it was quite relaxing.