We never give a minute's thought to the most important and vital thing that keeps us alive. it's our BREATH. Can you stay without breathing for 5 minutes? Most living creatures need oxygen to survive and that we get from breathing. Every system in the body relies on oxygen. Oxygen helps organisms grow, reproduce,provide with better sleep, greater sense of mental clarity, improves the immune system and turns food into energy. Breathing is one of the most basic and automatic functions in our body. The primary role of breathing is to absorb oxygen and to expel carbon dioxide through the movement of the lungs. It not only fuels the body with oxygen, it can also clear a foggy mind and help strengthen the muscles. In a relaxed position, breaths are very slow, even and gentle but when we are stressed, it fastens and the breathing pattern is disturbed. Scientific studies have shown that controlling breath can help to manage stress or stress related situations. We can connect with the subtle energy within through ‘breathing consciously’. Breathing consciously means breathing systematically that we practice through “Pranayam”. Pranayam is an ancient breathing technique that originates from yogic practices in India. It has many techniques of controlling breath in different styles and lengths like Anulom- Vilom, Surya Bhedan, Bhastrika, Ujjayi, Shitali, Sitkari, Bhramari, Murchha & Plavini Pranayama etc. It is necessary to understand the process of breathing. it may do harm to the person, if not done correctly. They are best practiced in the early morning on an empty stomach. It is even practiced during the day or evening for the purposes of relaxation, focus, and so on. We are blessed that we are getting these super valuable breaths free from nature!
Therefore, Swami Sivananda says:
“A yogi measures the span of life by the number of breaths, not by the number of years.