Breathing in Yoga
The very first and most precious gift that we receive when we are born is beautiful breath! (Breathing in Yoga)
It is our most dependable and trusted companion for the rest of our lives that we don’t want to let go of. So Breath is the prana, the revitalizer or the flow of oxygen into our bodies. It is this force of life that keeps us alive.
Every cell in our body needs energy to survive. It can be in the form of air or oxygen that we breath in or in the form of nutrients that we consume. Hence, the better we breathe, the better we live.
Yogic breathing is slow, deep and done with awareness.
How to breathe fruitfully and with awareness?
Try this simple deep breathing technique. Focus on it fully :
- Get seated comfortably with back straight.
- Take a deep yet a slow inhalation through your nose expanding your belly and chest a little. Feel this by placing your hand lightly on your belly.
- Exhale slowly and gently through the nose.
Try this breathing practice first thing in the morning in the sitting pose on the bed itself. Start with a minimum number of times, say about 5 repetitions. You can drink a glass of water post the session. This practice can be again followed before you hit the bed at night.
Why do you need the extra oxygen?
Making this simple breathing technique your habit, twice a day will help you
- Promote digestion and clear your bowels by engaging your abdominal muscles
- Get through the day
- Drain away the stress that you may have undergone during the day
- Ensure a sound and deeper sleep by calming the mind
Air is nourishment
It is not the volume of air that matters, but the concentration of oxygen which is actually absorbed and assimilated in the body.
When the breathing is slower, the heart does not have to work harder for want of oxygen. Also, the heart rate and blood pressure can go down considerably.
Deep breathing also helps decrease anxiety. It stimulates the calming part (parasympathetic) of the nervous system while it slows down the anxious part (sympathetic) of the nervous system related to the “fight of flight” response.
Make Yogic Breathing a way of life
With due practice, we should take frequent short breaks of yogic breathing throughout the day.
Just one or two minutes of regular practice prolongs our youthfulness, vitality, health and rejuvenates our tissues.
Having grasped the art, it may no longer remain a practice, but can become a habit.
You will be surprised to see that the body follows it even during sleep.
The Yogic Belief
So say yogic texts, that
“Only a fixed and immutable number of breaths have been allotted to us at birth. So, the slower our breaths, the longer our existence will be.”
Thus, let us breathe slowly, deeply and with awareness, each time we think of it and that too, too often.