As with many elements of yoga, this is dependent on many aspects of the class. For example, what is the intention of the class? What is the bhav/mood/pace of the class? Who is the class for?
All these considerations are important when deciding how many breaths you wish to have in each asana and in the transitional moments between the poses.
As a general rule of thumb, considering 3 to 6 breaths per asana in a Hatha practice can help in creating time and space for the student to drop into the pose and make adjustments to their alignment. Of course, there may be certain asana that take more time and breath, maybe with the invitation to add more variations and modifications, maybe as the teacher you share more of the benefits or teachings or pose a question to the students.
For a Vinyasa class, it is often a quicker paced practice, moving towards one breath per movement, this is common during sun salutations. Depending on the length and depth of these breaths, will depend on the pace of the class. Again, this concept of one breath per movement is not always the case and there may be moments in the class when more time and breath is offered to a specific asana, such as balancing poses.
When teaching, it is really important to be watching our students to see how they are receiving the class. This can be a great guide for us as teachers, to help us determine the number of breaths we might choose to incorporate into certain moments of the class, based on how the students are doing and what they might be needing. Keep observing and listening to the class, as they will often give you signals as to where more time and breath may be needed.
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