Breathing … What’s it all about really? by Wendy Allan
· Breathing is the most important of all bodily functions, without it life would cease to exist. As we draw air in through our lungs a process of renewal and purification takes place. Oxygen taken in during respiration enriches our blood, which in turn, nourishes all cells and organs. Waste products produced by organs, and cells are carried back to the lungs and expelled during exhalation. Prana taken in during inhalation gives the mind, body and soul the vitality and activity which accompany life, any unused prana is returned to the universe during exhalation.
· Proper breathing and its connection between health and disease is often overlooked. One example nostril breathing vs. mouth breathing. Our body is constructed in a way that we can use either method of breathing; but never really pay attention to the importance of breathing through the nose. Our nose has natural filters to keep out unwanted particles from the lungs, as well as being able to warm air before it enters the lungs. Proper nostril breathing must be learned in order to maintain health and vitality. Man is the only animal that has the ability to sleep with its mouth open. Of all animals, man is the one who suffers from higher numbers of respiratory ailments, anxiety problems and other related diseases that may be linked to improper breathing techniques.
· We first must understand the 4 general breathing methods. High breathing, mid breathing,low breathing and yogi complete breathing. By learning these methods, we will also learn to work the very muscles connected with respiration. Without the aid of these muscles, the lungs will not expand properly. The yogi complete breath includes all the good points of high, mid and low breathing, as well the respiratory muscles, it also uses minimum amount of energy for the maximum amount of benefits.
· Here’s what you do: Sitting comfortably and erect, a steady inhale through the nostrils, first filling the lower part of the lungs, and gently pushing the abdominal wall forward, followed by the mid part of the lungs pushing out the lower ribs and chest, finally filling the higher portion of the lungs, lifting the chest and ribs, the final movement the lower part of the abdomen will be slightly drawn in. This should be done in a continuous movement. Retain the breath a few seconds, then exhale slowly keeping the chest high and drawing the abdomen in and up. As exhale finishes, relax the chest and abdomen. This complete breath does mean completely filling the lungs on each inhalation, but should be done several times a day in order to keep the system healthy.
Breath is our life force, and by remembering how to breathe properly, and practicing “yogi complete breathing”on a daily basis, we can enrich our lives 3 fold, body, mind and spirit. Hey, maybe we should call for breathing breaks rather than coffee breaks. Happy Breathing!