“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” ~Sanskrit proverb
Breath is one of the most precious gifts of life. Breathing well is most essential to living healthy and happy. It is the first thing that we do as we are born and the last when we leave our physical body. On an average a human takes about half a billion breaths in his lifetime, yet most of the time it goes unnoticed.
There is more to breathing than mere exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There are two aspects of our breath. One is the intake of oxygen present in the air and the other is the intake of the life force energy (Prana).This union of Oxygen and Prana is a state of yoga very similar to what we know as energy and matter. In Hindi we know of it as the tatva and the padarth. (the tangible and the intangible)
Our body, mind and breath are intimately and intricately connected and influence each other profoundly. Our breathing is influenced by our thoughts, and our thoughts and physiology is influenced by our breath. Our breath goes through subtle changes as per our emotions such as anger, calm, happiness or sadness. We have all experienced this change in our breathing patterns how fast it is when we are angry and excited and how constricted it becomes when we are fearful. As children, we had a healthy and relaxed belly breath, but as we grew our breathing became shallower due to the various traumatic events we experienced through the years.
Other than events, our circumstances and lifestyle also impacts our breath. Fearful environment due to belief systems, cognitive stress of prolonged working with computers and devices has a major influence on our breathing. Physical and emotional stresses robs the body of huge amounts of much-needed oxygen & Prana
This loss becomes apparent gradually with symptoms of health deterioration. Feeling of ill-health or fatigue is more common as our body becomes more and more oxygen deprived and with time other illness’s and diseases begin to emerge.
As a corrective remedy, breathing is the first pattern one should look into when any illness presents itself. The organs in the body live on the vital life energy, Prana which it receives from the breath. When our breath is full of Prana organs function well but when the quantum of Prana or its frequency is low, the absorption is not optimum. If it is not rectified, over a period of time the organ becomes weak and begins to malfunction.
Oxygen as we all know is our primary source of energy. Oxygen is essential for our brain function and has a calming effect on our mind and nervous system. It is required for absorption of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Insufficient oxygen means insufficient biological energy which results in anything from mild fatigue to life threatening disease. “Cells undergoing partial oxygen starvation send out tiny panic signals which are collectively felt in the body as a continuous vague sensation of uneasiness, fatigue helplessness.”
Conventional treatment aims to deal with the consequence and the root because which is the weakening of the organ due to lack of absorption of prana gets neglected and hence medicine becomes a dependence for life time and ill health becomes a management exercise. Specific Mudra directs the prana from the breath to the effected organ. As the organ gets its feed, it recovers.
With knowledge, awareness and practice we can learn to breathe correctly again and bring this much needed prana back into every cell of our being, enabling us to have health and vitality. Our body is incredible at healing itself. Are you ready to assist it by improve your breathing?
Wishing you peace & deep delicious, highly nutritious breath!