Ideally, our yoga practices create a better connection between our minds + our bodies. The breath serves as the gateway between the body/mind, and this specialty is an experience unique to yoga in comparison to other physical disciplines. Through the work of breath, we can really dig into poses, keep the nervous system calm and bridge the gap between our bodies and minds, all within the framework of a single pose.
Now, because we're forging this body/mind connection via the breath, we can start to WAKE UP places inside of us which have gone dormant or with which we've lost touch. Through yoga, we heighten our sensitivity, our perception, our sensory awareness. The practice can be all about TUNING IN to whatever is happening in that moment. Increasing capacity for awareness no matter what is taking place. I happen to think that's a much better option than huffing and puffing my way through a pose or a challenging experience.
As my teacher Tias says, "By increasing our capacity for sensory awareness, we become more connected, more present and awake beings." Yoga wins again.