By Lynn Hill
Over the last several years, many forms of yoga and eastern practices have been adopted into our culture. There is much more awareness about the benefits of meditation, maintaining good posture, and conscious breathing in our practice. Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously. Conscious attention to breathing is common in many forms of meditation, specifically, Anapana, which focuses on the "mindfulness of breathing." The purpose of this practice is to concentrate on bodily phenomena as both a mental discipline, and as a prerequisite to developing liberating insight. Practicing this form of meditation is part of the Eight-Fold Path that leads to the removal of all defilements and finally toward the attainment of nirvana or enlightenment.