The breath is the link between the body and mind.
While challenging at first, a focus on the breath as you evolve in your practice is essential.
Connecting with the breath in such a way that it leads the practice - this is yoga, as opposed to exercise. The inhalation awakens the opening into the posture and the exhalation takes you into the close of the posture, ideally.
The breath takes time. It is more challenging than fancy poses. So be patient.
In time you work with various pranayama techniques, including retentions/suspensions. The nervous system needs to be strengthened through practice first, so don't rush.
Start working with pranayama right away though. Ujjayai breathing, a gentle contraction of the throat through practice and after practice leading into meditation is super powerful.
The breath is always a direct reflection of the state of the mind. We can't change the mind easily, but we can use the breath to affect the state of the mind. This is incredible.
Finding and establishing the rhythm of the breath through practice will take your experience of yoga to a new level.
Remember, breath is the primary vehicle for lifeforce, prana. It connects you to the subtle body, the energy body.
Breath awakens the healing forces within.
Breath is ultimately the vehicle to your Higher Self.