Proper breathing is important as breathing is a major body function which provides energy needs of an individual during the entire life time. Breathing is such an important process that the moment breathing ceases, life ends. Till we live, we take average of approximately 20,000 breaths in a day. Incorrect breathing technique has profound effect on your health and can effect your body's efficiency day after day. As an analogy, imagine the efficiency of a machine if it does not get optimum air for burning the fuel.
emotional health affects the way you breathe. Similarly, the way you
breathe has an effect on your mind. With proper breathing, fluctuations
of mind can be controlled thereby making the mind more relaxed and
focused. Steadiness of mind and body interact and make a feedback loop
to support each other.
Proper Breathing Techniques ensures more oxygen to the brain and other body organs of the body. Breathing is one of the ways to get rid of waste products and toxins from your body. Your energy level depends on your breathing rate and the depth of breathing. Therefore your breathing process needs to be optimised to provide more oxygen to your lungs from where it gets transported throughout the body by your blood.
Most of the persons are unaware of proper breathing techniques and their breathing is shallow and breathing rate is higher. This results in insufficient intake of oxygen required energy needs of your body. Poor breathing leads to loss of energy/ vitality which in turn increases your worries, increases anxiety, fatigue and stress levels. Prolonged poor breathing techniques also result in poor exercise for the muscles of lungs and the heart.
When a baby is born, nature guides the baby to breathe correctly in a completely relaxed manner. Over a period of time due to our upbringing, environment, sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise results in poor breathing techniques. For most of us, breathing is shallow and too quick.
Shallow breathing results in insufficient cellular respiration which means less oxygen to various organs resulting in diseases, poor immunity and susceptibility to diseases. Less oxygen to brain means reduced metal abilities, nervousness and irritable nature. This also leads to to reduced energy and vitality, since oxygen is essential for the production of energy in the body. Shallow breathing does not exercise the lungs enough, so they lose some of their function, causing a further reduction in vitality. Due to insufficient inhalation and exhalation, there is built up of toxins in the body.
Faster breathing rate strains our respiratory system causing more wear and tear of the organs involved in respiration. Most people use chest breathing rather than diaphragmatic breathing leading to shallow breathing. The oxygen reaches upper lobes of the lungs whereas most of the blood flow occurs in the part of lungs. In this case, the effort required for breathing is more as compared to the oxygen inhaled per breath.
Oxygen is the most vital nutrient required for our bodies. It is essential for proper functioning of brain, nervous system and all internal organs. Brain is the heaviest consumer of oxygen and lack of sufficient oxygen impairs its function. Oxygen purifies the blood stream, and this purified blood is carried to all parts of our body. Improved blood circulation with yoga practice carries this blood to various body organs.
The good news is that proper breathing techniques can be learned to improve our health and vitality. It just requires disciplined regular practice of yoga breathing. You can practice to inhale and exhale according to the principles involved in pranayama. Yoga breathing involves integrating of sound physical health, increased self awareness, correct breath control to prepare yourself for better health and it prepares your mind for meditation, the higher state of consciousness.
Incorrect breathing habits were formed over a period of time and it will require consistent efforts on your part to get out of these habits and acquire proper breathing habits. You must first assess your breathing habits and convince yourself that change is required and then work for the change. Better breathing will have a soothing effect on your mind and it will provide you a tool to modify your emotions and behaviour making you emotionally stable person. It will also help you to make a strong resolve for adopting correct breathing as part of your life.
With conscious effort and regular yoga breathing practice it is possible to train your body for proper breathing. Initially, start your yoga breathing practice with deep breathing for 10 to 15 minutes. Thereafter, practice a sequence of yoga breathing for 30 to 40 minutes, preferably in the morning. At all other times of the day try to be aware of your breathing and consciously try to do abdominal breathing. With regular pranayama practice, you will start breathing from your abdomen most of the time without any conscious effort on your part.
Check whether you are a chest breather or a abdominal breather? You can find out yourself about your breathing by a simple test. Lie down in shavasana and place your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen. Take a breath slowly and observe which hand raises more. If your right hand raises more, you are a chest breather. If your left hand raises more, you are an abdomen breather.
It is worthwhile to try out yoga breathing for better health of mind and body and harmony in life. To get better results from yoga breathing, it will be preferable to strengthen your body with yoga asanas, take simple vegetarian diet, avoid smoking, take proper sleep and avoid stressful situations. Breathe in a conscious manner, be peaceful, be thankful to God and be receptive to receive prana energy. Adopting a healthy and active lifestyle with proper breathing is like saying cheers to a new life.