A focal point is a constant awareness of something in your life. This constant awareness has the effect of keeping you grounded, both emotionally and physically. The most obvious focal point and the recommended one is breath awareness. Aside from the esoteric explanations of breath awareness, the obvious fact is that it is a life indicator just as your heartbeat/pulse is.
The importance of breath awareness is that it helps you become an observer of your physical being. You will learn to tell if you are stressed or ill and when you are relaxed. It is like a barometer in that you have a built-in diagnostic tool. By observing the body’s status, we will become aware that its true function is to carry our consciousness, our being. When the body is stressed or tired, our spiritual connection is negatively effected. So, it is important that the body is not a burden. To that end, breath awareness is chosen as a practical tool while on the spiritual path.