It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.
– Joshu Washes the Bowl, The Gateless Gate #7
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 176
Translated by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki
You don’t have to do yoga to know that you should not “hold your breath”. Yet in order to make it through a topsy turvy time it is common for people to do just this. When we say “holding your breath” we do not simply mean not inhaling. Of course, people rarely “hold their breath” for without breath there is no life and by way of a long held breath, you might end up passed out on the carpet! It is more common for people to constrict their blood vessels, clench their nerves or tighten their sphincters in order to get by.