Without breath there is no life, yet we take breathing for granted until something happens that hinders our ability to breathe properly. Thus it is a good idea to take time each day to celebrate the very act of breathing, to learn how to breathe properly and to honor the life-giving, life-sustaining essence of each inhalation and exhalation.
When we are under stress, our breathing tends to be fast and shallow, and we do not get all the oxygen the body needs. A lack of sufficient oxygen can contribute to many health problems, including heart disease, sleep disorders, lack of concentration, and fatigue, to name a few.
Because breathing is so essential for life, it is in your best interest physically, spiritually, and mentally to do it the very best way you can. Pranayama, or breathing exercise, is one of the five principles of yoga, and it promotes proper breathing.
According to the Yogic perspective, proper breathing brings more oxygen to the blood and to the brain, and it also controls the vital life energy, or Prana. When we breathe in, we take in oxygen which then passes through the body in a form that revitalizes everything it touches. Then we exhale carbon dioxide and release toxins from the body. The practice of Pranayama helps you absorb vital life energy through breath control, linking your body, mind, and spirit.
For a complete explanation of the Yoga Complete Breath – read my book: “The Wisdom of Well-Being: Your Health is in Your Hands” (available on Amazon Kindle)
-Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff