The significance of the breath
Have you ever paid attention to your breath? Probably not, right? Have you noticed what happens to your breathing pattern when you get excited, angry, agitated or anxious? Your breath becomes irregular and broken, the opposite of slow, smooth flow of the breath when you are calm, composed and relaxed.
Next time you are around a baby notice his/her breath. You will notice that baby’s breath is deep and slow and you will notice the rise and fall of the belly. Most of us have forgotten how to breath! When you inhale, should the belly contract or should it expand? So, take a moment, close your eyes, keep one hand on the chest and the other on the belly. Concentrate on your breath. Notice what happens when you inhale and when you exhale. If you are breathing correctly, then the belly should expand when you inhale and contract when you exhale. Most people would think and breath contrary to this pattern of natural breath and continue to breath incorrectly for the rest of their life.
Before I even dwell deeper into the essence of the yogic breath or the pranayam and the significant life saving effects , it is important that each one of us should at least start breathing correctly. Wear loose clothing, sit preferably in a seated crossed-legged position and place one hand on the abdomen and the other where the diaphragm is located. Breath in slowly, expand the abdomen, then the rib cage and finally the lower portion of the the lungs. Then breath out slowly, letting the abdomen contract/crave in as you exhale and then release the breath from the rib cage. Just following this form of breathing can bring significant health and mental benefits. For first the mind becomes more calm, less anxious and getting into meditation becomes easier and second, all diseases of the body can be destroyed at the root by controlling and regulating the breath.
I will be discussing more about the yogic breath or ‘Prana’ and the different kinds of pranayamas -breathing exercises- that you can practice on your own. To practice the simple yogic breath as I have described above is so easy that you can do in your kitchen while cooking, while driving , while working,while traveling and any place you can stop and pay attention your breath. So what are you waiting for…go ahead and introduce this practice in your daily life and I promise you, you will not regret it!