The Science of Breath
Choose more life by choosing your next breath.
Breath work in Sanskrit is called Pranayama. Prana translates to “life force”. Are we getting more life in with each deep breath? Yes! The more you breathe the more alive you are. Yogis believe that everybody has a certain amount of breath when they are born. When you use all your breath, you will die. The more slowly you breathe, the longer you will live. Don’t hurry to judge this statement. When does your breathing become faster and shallow? When you are sick or stressed out. The more you get sick, the more stress you have, the shorter your life will be. When is your breathing long and smooth? When you are happy and relaxed. You agree that happy people are less sick and live longer. So this statement is true.
But it is so hard to stay calm and relaxed when there is so much information and stress around us. Just turn the TV on and all this information: politics, world disasters, criminals and etc. will affect you. It will always be around you and if you are not living on a wild island without TV, telephone, radio, you can’t avoid it. But you can learn to live with all this information and everyday stress without affecting you or your body. It is very important to how you react or accept things happening around you or within you. If you are stressing out it will only affect you and your health. But how do you stay calm, happy, and relaxed all the time. What is that secret recipe? The answer is: breath.
Breathing is the most important and natural function to our body, we inhale when our body desires oxygen without even thinking about it. When you inhale, fresh oxygen is brought into your body and organs, nourishing cells and tissues. When you exhale, the body releases carbon dioxide and toxins releasing all the stress and anxiety. We talk a lot about how important it is to drink enough water to hydrate our body. There are so many information sources about the importance of healthy food choices. But most of the times we don’t think how important breathing is for proper body function. Without food or water we cannot survive more than a few days, but without oxygen our brain will die in just few minutes.
When people come to the yoga we teach them how to breathe! Because without proper breathing there is no movement. You can get amazing results just from changing your breathing habits and oxygenizing your body. This is why even after the first yoga class students stated that they slept better, had more energy, felt happier and more relaxed. Breathing is the secret of a good yoga class.
What’s interesting is that as kids we knew how to breathe. But for so many different reasons most of us have lost our natural breathing pattern. We started breathing with our chest, or suck our belly in on inhalation. And our primary respiratory muscles become weak. Now our body is not getting enough oxygen. This is why you feel tired, depressed, and low on energy. Did you notice that when a cat is breathing even the end of his tale is moving with each inhalation or exhalation? Have you ever held a baby in your hands; did you notice how the baby breathes? Their whole body is expanding on the inhalation. This is how we have to breathe if we want to oxygenize our body. Accept each deep breathe like a fresh glass of life. To take a deep breath is like eating food. If you feel low on energy in the middle of the day, take a few deep breaths instead grabbing for a sweet treat, or cup of coffee. If you feel mad or angry take a few deep breaths. If you feel depressed or sad the recipe is the same: take a deep breath!
Reading about breathing is not enough. You need to experience it. Come to the Yoga and Massage Studio, where professional, trained yoga teachers will help you return to the natural breathing patterns.
Disclaimer- I do not provide medical advice and by no means a substitute for your medical doctor.