The Art of Breathing
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
" Inhale the present; exhale the past "
Any yoga asana or posture is incomplete without correct breath flow. It sounds so elementary but honestly, we as a culture and society do not give breathing the importance it deserves. And we sadly underestimate the power it has over our well being. Did you know that breathing is alone responsible for expelling 70% of human toxins? The other 30% is done by the liver and kidneys. Improprieties in breathing techniques can lead to an overload of toxins that these two organs must work harder to process. Learning how to do this one thing correctly, can drastically reduce the load on the rest of your body.
There is a proper amount of food, water consumption and nutrients which needs to be balance and observed in our day to day intake. Similarly, a proper balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide intake in our bodies, and their levels must be maintained for the ideal condition of the human machine.
Proper breathing methods reduce our level of stress and increases focus.
Improper breathing on the other hand affects our sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the fight or flight response. This affects our emotions leading to stress, anger and nervousness.
Yogic breathing techniques & pranayama, are further been explained in this site. Which also helps in general life extension by avoiding constriction of airflow passages. There are different techniques of breathing and they go hand in hand with the postures. As a general rule of thumb, contraction of the abdomen and chest area should be done along with an exhale. The contractions help expel the CO2 properly.
Conversely, any expansion of the abdomen or opening up of the chest should be accompanied with an inhale to help oxygen get everywhere it needs to. Any twisting motions of the torso should also be accompanied with an exhale. A regular breathing practice offers many mental, emotional and physical health benefits.
Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. There is no single more powerful - or more simple - daily practice to further your health and well being than breathe work". Having better control of our breathing can benefit our whole self in many ways. It can reduce stress and anxiety, promote calmness and relaxation, raise energy, and increase the health of your whole body.