Breathing as a bridge
Also known as Prana, or the universal energy, breathing is one of the core essential elements of life and it reflects the fundamental processes of life i.e. night and day, balance between body and mind and the symmetry between consciousness and unconsciousness. Controlled breathing on the other hand helps us to positively handle the involuntary actions of our physiology such as heart rate, blood circulation, digestion, blood pressure and the nervous system. One such example of controlled breathing is Pranayama, which is the yoga practice of using regulated breathing techniques to positively affect the subtle energies in the physiology. Thus breathing is often regarded as the bridge between the self and the involuntary mechanisms of our body.
An example of how life affects physiology
During times of tremendous physical and emotional stress, the nervous system, heart rate, muscular system and blood pressure changes abnormally, which can directly lead to high blood pressure, inflammation and muscle ache.
These effects can be handled properly through the use of breathing techniques. It involves, proper and synchronized breathing in proper rhythms. The regulated breathing tends to control and relax the nervous system and therefore helps in gaining the complete momentum required to attain inner balance. Effects of undue stress are also properly neutralized through the proper usage of breathing techniques.
Connection of Yoga and Breathing
Breathing is considered to be the most fundamental aspect of life, since breathing is the activity which both initiates and ends life. In Yoga, breathing is a very important factor for a healthy mind and body. Pranayama literally means control over the life force. Hence, in Pranayama technique of Yoga, a series of controlled breathing is exercised, to attain a proper synchronization in flow of life energy.
The process of breathing depends upon the external factors or situations in which we are at a certain point of time. The breathing process keeps on changing i.e. either accelerates or decelerates as per the moment. It cannot be voluntary controlled by an individual. Hence through the usage of subtle breathing exercises these abnormalities in breathing can be effectively controlled and the adrenaline changes aptly countered.
Role of Breathing
During the practice of controlled breathing in a Yogic Asana, it is recommended to be aware about the process of inhalation and exhalation. It is also recommended to keep the mind focused so that positive energies can vibrate in and around the body. When the focus of breathing is concentrated, the control of breathing is shifted from the medulla oblongata to the cerebral cortex. This process trains our mind to avoid random thoughts and helps us to attain better coordination between the mind and the body. Before every Asana session, it is always essential to have a positive resolve. The Ujjayi or victorious breath can also be incorporated into the Asana session to ensure enhanced psychic activity as well as a calmer mind.
Breathing – The Yogic Practice
The natural process of breathing if controlled and coordinated in the prescribed manner, can ultimately help us to successfully defend our physiology against modern lifestyle disorder diseases such as cardio-vascular diseases, obesity and undue psychological stress. By entraining the mind and the body, one can reprogram theregular breathing rhythm and this can be comprehensively achieved by using Full Yogic Breathing.
Benefits of Yogic Breathing
The tremendous physiological as well as psychological benefits of Yogic breathing are as follows:
o It provides a sense of rejuvenation and coordination between the mind and the body
o It helps in the proper functioning of the respiratory system by ensuring the proper receipt of oxygen and optimum functioning of the lungs and therefore aids the process of metabolism
o It directly helps in improving the circulation of blood in the body, thereby ensuring the maximum reach of nutrients in the different parts of the body
o Enhances the process of digestion
o Helps in developing a positive psyche by enabling the inflow of positive thoughts through a focused mind
o Helps in the attainment of inner spiritual stability
o Ensures proper and comprehensive detoxification of the body
o Provides stamina and vitality to the physiological system
o Helps in ensuring proper muscular activities
o Helps in effective countering of physical and mental stress