Breathing Properly Can Effect The Way You Look And Feel
When we stop breathing we die, yet very little importance is placed on breathing properly. The way we breathe, directly affects the way we feel mentally and physically. It is vital to our health to have a fresh supply of oxygen to our body. Every cell of our body needs oxygen to function. Our survival depends on it.
It really shocks me how many people never open a window or get outside to breathe fresh air. People are literally suffocating themselves, but it is happening at a slow rate so they don’t even notice it. As soon as I walk into a room or get in a car, I open a window, no matter what the weather. When this is not possible I feel myself starting to suffocate and I begin to feel drowsy and my brain feels foggy. I also get headaches and feel like I have fever. I always have some fresh air coming in the room and if I don’t, I feel it instantly. Make sure you sleep with the window open!
Breathing exercises are also known as Pranayam in India. Prana is the vital energy of the body. The belief is that yoga asanas (postures) prepare you for pranayam, and pranayam prepares you for meditation and obviously meditation prepares you for liberation (moksha).
The mind and body are connected on the surface level by the breath. We all know that when we get angry or scared our breath rapidly increases. When we are feeling calm our breath is slow and shallow. Therefore, to begin to control the breath and be more aware of the breath, we begin to change our state of mind.
By learning to breathe properly we slow down the functioning of the body and calm the mind. By slowing down the functioning of the body, we also slow down the aging process. Some say we have a limited amount of breaths per lifetime, so when we slow down the breath we prolong the life.
There are so many benefits of breathing deeply .I highly recommend doing 10-15 minutes of deep breathing at least once a day on a empty stomach. In yoga they recommend doing it at sunrise and sunset, but for most people this is not possible! Find a time that fits into your schedule. It will greatly benefit your health and well being. I really feel it when I have not been doing regular pranayam in the morning. Many people find that doing some breathing exercises before going to sleep at night helps them to fall asleep easily.
Pranayam helps to carry toxins from the body and stimulates the digestive and elimination system. Practicing deep breathing helps to oxygenate the body and carry out carbon dioxide. A well oxygenated body is vital in the process of weight loss as it stimulates the digestive fire and speeds up the metabolism.
The whole body begins to function more effectively with fresh oxygen flowing to all the cells and vital organs. The energy flows through the body and helps to remove blockages in the body which are the cause of physical and mental malfunctions.
There are many different breathing techniques that you can practice so find ones you enjoy and do them regularly.
Here are a few more common breathing exercises:
Deep breathing: breathing in for 10 seconds, hold for 10 seconds then breathe out for 10 second. This helps to oxygenate the body and calms the mind.
Breath of Fire: Is a common breathing exercise in yoga using the lower muscles of the abdomen to pull the stomach in which will forcefully push the breath out. Focus on the outgoing breath. There is no conscious in breath. This really helps stimulate the digestive fire and removes toxins from the body. It also strengthens the abdomen muscles.
Bastrika: Raise the hands up to the shoulders and as you straighten your arms upwards, breathe in and then lower them, breathing out. Pull the elbows slightly into the lower ribs to push out all the air. I find this very energizing and great in cold weather to generate heat.
Alternate nostril breathing: Use the thumb to block the right nostril and breathe in the left nostril. Then close the left nostril with the ring finger and open the right nostril and breathe out. Repeat this 20 times on each side. This is great for balancing the body, therefore a good exercise to end with.