The Art of Breathing
Breathing is the fuel that drives our engine [heart]. The heart, just like engines in vehicles can’t work if there is no fuel [breath]. Similar to vehicles, bad fuel [improper breathing] can greatly impact the performance of our engine: the heart. That’s why medical experts emphasize that we master the art of proper breathing. However, lack of awareness on what proper breathing involves remains a big problem for most of the world’s population. We all unknowingly do certain things that trigger bad breathing. The majority of things that impact proper breathing include bad posture, extreme negative emotions that strain abdomen and chest muscles and poor breathing habits.
History of Breathing
Breathing in Hinduism and Buddhism
In Hinduism and Buddhism, breath symbolises life, purity, energy, divinity and power. It is not just the beginning of life, but the totality of life. It is the source of life in the body. They say that breath can make the body alive even if a few organs are missing or malfunctioning, but if the breath departs from the body, the organs have no choice but to die.
Hindu and Buddhist breathing practices are centered around the art of meditation. They believe that breath and body are connected, as seen from the fact that the body is calm when the breath is calm, and agitated when the breath is agitated. By practicing meditation, they let the body become absorbed into observing the movements of breathing thus allowing them to enter into a state of self-awareness. This yields peace and self-satisfaction.
Importance of Breathing to These Religions
Hindus and Buddhists see proper breathing as an essential tool to improve the quality of life. They believe that breathing correctly gives them more control over their lives since they get to realize who they really are. And if you think you don’t need proper breathing to live a better quality life, why not have a look at these amazing benefits of breathing properly as per Hindu and Buddhist teachings.
1. Proper Breathing Boosts Your Inner Peace
2. Breathing Properly Boosts Relaxation And Enlightenment
When you are completely aware of your breathing patterns, your mind gets to relax and calm down. This state of mindfulness gives you optimum control over your actions and thoughts. Studies show that when your mind is alert, and you are more aware of what you are doing, you are likely to feel relaxed and enlightened.
3. Proper Breathing Aids In Driving Out Negative Thoughts
It is normal for us humans to have bad thoughts, memories, and feelings. Often, we don’t have power over these thoughts and feelings. However, through meditative breathing, we can easily get rid of these bad memories and feelings. Meditative breathing calms our minds and lets us get rid of negative thoughts quickly and safely.
4. Meditative Breathing Connects Your Body And Mind
According to experts in meditation, breathing meditatively gets our minds to learn and understand the feelings and ways of the body. This way of breathing lets our mind quickly send signals of self-satisfaction to the body. This is why through meditation, we are able to enjoy periods of tension relief and body calmness.
Connection with Meditation Pranayama
Pranayama is the ultimate way to regulate life-currents. It is a state through which we have full control over the mind and have an undisrupted understanding of Prana. Buddhists and Hindus believe that it is impossible to progress in any spiritual matter if you don’t understand and practice Pranayama. Understanding Pranayama is simply the gate to realize cosmic life.
Pranayama can’t be achieved without proper breathing. This healthy spiritual state is all about understanding how to breathe properly. It is essentially for those who can control their breath and mind. Our lungs are the core body systems that control breathing. Therefore, we must know how to manipulate the way the lungs work as well as be able to control our breathing patterns so that we can do Prana.
Pranayama is mostly about breathing in, out and steadily. In Pranayama, breathing in is known as Pooraka, breathing out referred to as rechaka, while breathing steadily is referred to as kumbhaka. Breathing steadily is believed to boost the human lifespan. When you enter into a state of meditation and you achieve the Kumbhaka Pranayama state, your breathing is retained for several minutes, and this boosts your lifespan in the long haul.
The human mind has a direct link to Prana. The lungs, on the other hand, control our breathing meaning they coordinate with the mind to ensure maximum performance of the body. That said, if we can manipulate the lungs, it is possible to control the mind and therefore achieve the Prana state.
The key to healthy and happy living lies in right breathing. When we attend to our breath, it can heal us from all worries and anxieties”
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Benefits Of Breathing Properly
Breathing deeply and healthily is as important as living a healthy lifestyle. You can’t avoid it if at all you want to have a healthy lifestyle. Poor breathing habits have been linked to a whole lot of health problems among which can result in death. That is why, at all times, people are advised to practice healthy breathing practices so that they reap the many benefits that come with it.
1.Positively Impact Your Nervous System
Breathing in a controlled way reduces the stress levels directed to the nervous system. When you breathe deeply, the number of breathing out exercises are reduced which in turn reduces the movements of the diaphragm. You will start to realize that when you breathe deeply, you feel more relaxed and less stressed. And when the levels of stress are low, the sympathetic nervous system will be left with less work to do. Thus, it will be more equipped to fight in the event of new threats. In fact, it will fight off potential diseases more effectively.
When you breathe correctly, the parasympathetic nervous system effectively plays its intended roles of reducing blood pressure and heart rates. Additionally, it helps improve digestion and better intake of essential nutrients. Studies show that the parasympathetic nervous system gets automatically activated when you breathe properly which means breathing properly is ideal if you want to live a healthier life free of most health problems.
2. Boosts Your Immune System
Breathing deeply is believed to promote the performance of our immune systems. It helps our immune systems to develop new cells that ward off infections. It also aids in stopping the issue with flight or fight from happening. Breathing more deeply assists our immune system to work more efficiently to eradicate viruses and bacteria from our bodies.
Deep breathing is also known to aid in the digestion process which helps in making our immune system stronger.In short, if you want to grow a healthier and stronger immune system, you should learn to meditate on a regular basis. Through meditation, your mind relaxes, and the levels of stress toxins reduce. The end result is an unyielding immune system.
3. Helps In Weight Loss
As we all know, our body fat is a combination of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. When we breathe in, oxygen comes into contact with the fat stored in our bodies and breaks it to simple water and carbon dioxide. Blood moves the carbon dioxide to the lungs for it to be exhaled.
What all this means is that when we breathe in more oxygen, we end up burning more fat and getting rid of more toxins. And deep breathing is one way to increase oxygen levels in our bodies and burn fat faster. For this reason, practicing deep breathing exercises is one of the best ways to lose weight without having to engage in long workouts.
The breath is actual body within the body
What Is Breathsensing?
Breathsensing is a stage in meditation that helps you understand and control your patterns of breathing. The core purpose of this meditation step is to let you know how to mindfully observe and follow your breaths. This allows you to create a relationship with your breathing patterns and achieves the best feeling of relaxation and liveliness. Through breath sensing, your brain’s default network is automatically detached thus allowing you to think widely. When you enter into this state of meditation, you discharge all stressing thoughts and give your body the opportunity to relax.
There are basically three steps in Breathsensing. The first one involves familiarizing with your breathing patterns. This includes the number of times you inhale and exhale per single minute. In this stage of Breathsensing, you are required to listen to your breathing sensations carefully and mindfully. The next stage of Breathsensing requires you to discern your breathing sensations and energy. This stage is intended to let you know how forceful and repeated your breathing is. The last stage in Breathsensing requires you to count the number of times you breathe. Here, you get to know how quick or slow your breathing patterns are. This stage is important since it enables you to be more focused and have better levels of concentration.
Benefits Of Breathsensing
Breathsensing is an essential step in meditation whose value and importance cannot be underestimated. Breathsensing is not just about observing and understanding your breathing patterns, counting your breaths and knowing how deep you are breathing. It involves a lot more than that. In fact, it has a plethora of benefits. They include:
Social system effects act through interaction with other environmental processes. Best-self activation gives early advantages in terms of negotiation, perpetuation, and broadening of the employee’s scope. This raises creativity and engagement since they are better placed to tackle challenges and well placed to embrace new opportunities as they arise. Subjective construal and interpretation of the environment are interventions which are as a consequence of best-self activation. This has lasting effects in changing people’s narratives concerning their social environment in the work place and their associated attitudes and behaviors.
1. Improved Nervous System Performance
When breathsensing, your nervous system achieves a healthy equilibrium state. As a result, the parasympathetic response is slowed down. This helps you feel sane and stress-free all through the day and week. Furthermore, you will become more responsive and creative. Your mind will be attuned correctly and it will readily recognize and eliminate feelings of fatigue and irritation.
2. Gets You To Understand Your Body Emotions
With this meditative practice, you will enter into a state where your body is strictly motivated to understand the sensations and emotions within it. This means you will be able to recognize the real emotions your body is generating. Thus, you can manipulate your body to realize its perfect state of well-being and easiness.
3. Helps Reduce Obsessive Thinking
It is common for people to overload their heads with obsessive thinking especially when they are exposed to trying moments. The great thing with breath sensing is that it enables you to get rid of such thoughts. Breathsensing works in such a way that it gets your mind fully concentrated on meditation which ends up turning off your brain’s default network. When the brain network is off, it becomes very easy for your mind to get rid of all obsessive thoughts.
4. Improves Feeling Of Relaxation
Breathsensing helps your mind enter into a state of relaxation and easiness. It helps you feel as if you have never experienced stress or tension in your life. This kind of feeling will make you come out a relaxed person and make you live a stress-free life.
Proper breathing entails more than just deep breathing. Of course, deep breathing is the easiest and most promising way to breathe properly. However, it’s not a perfect technique to consider if you want to achieve real value from meditation. There are virtually many techniques of breathing that work differently and guarantee different kinds of results. To anyone who decides to meditate, here are the four most recommended breathing techniques you can opt for.
1. Fire Breathing
Fire breathing is a yoga pranayama exercise that entails creating a rivulet of fire from your mouth. It’s done when your eyes are closed and the body comfortably positioned. This yoga pranayama technique is known to have many health benefits. The first is that it helps oxygenate your blood which in return works to get rid of body wastes efficiently. The second benefit is that it coordinates your entire body system and helps bring the body into a more synchronized and healthy state. The last benefit of this fire-breathing method is that it aids in boosting lung performance.
2. Ocean Breathing
This yoga pranayama breathing technique demands that you fill up your lungs, contract the throat and exhale through your nose only. It is a popular pranayama technique which assists in warming your body and calming the mind. Practicing this technique of pranayama breathing helps you improve your overall well-being. It helps connect your mind directly to the body and spirit. The end result is usually improved oxygen flow and reduced issues with insomnia, stress, and tension.
3. Energizing HA Breath
Energizing HA Breath is a pranayama yoga breathing technique which entails maximizing the use of your lungs to aid in the efficient removal of toxins and stale air. When practicing this breathing technique, the lungs and chest must be positioned comfortably. The purpose of this breathing technique is to help enhance digestion, boost body energy and renew your entire body system.
4. Power Breathing
Power breathing is the last yoga pranayama breathing technique which is believed to be very efficient, simple and reliable. This technique of pranayama breathing entails practicing several breathing techniques that aim at helping you standardize health imbalances, fill up your energy tank and reduce or even completely get rid of stressors. It is an essential meditation practice that you must know if you really want to benefit from meditation.
Breathing is an art, and if you haven’t mastered it yet, you might be doing yourself more harm than good. Of course, our lungs are initiated automatically once we are born, but in most cases, we do certain things that impact the natural and undisrupted functioning of the lungs. For example, when we are stressed, annoyed or extra happy, we put our chest muscles in a state that makes them unable to play their roles as required.
Health specialists, as well as masters of Buddhism and Hinduism, recommend we learn the art of breathing so that we can lead quality lives and have longer lifespans. The teachings of Buddha on proper breathing are clear and lucid. They teach you how to meditate and breathe in a healthier way. Based on studies, meditating is the core to healthy breathing.
You can’t breathe perfectly if you don’t meditate. In this piece, we have outlined all the benefits of proper breathing. We have also outlined the most powerful and essential breathing techniques to help you lead a healthier life. Make sure to understand and practice them, and your life will never be the same.
When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace