Yoga Breathing, Pranayama
When in a yoga session, it does not make a great deal of difference what you wear or where you are, but, however, details such as what you have eaten, the manner in which you breathe and your attitude towards yoga itself can make all the difference in the world.
It's not unreasonable to wonder why such a simple, and common act, as breathing, especially yoga breathing (Pranayama), can become an element which can make the difference in a yoga session.
Well, first of all you should realize that, through the apparently "automatic" process of breathing we provide our bodies with the necessary quantities of oxygen that we need, in order to be able to survive. What many do not realize is that the breathing process is also vital to health because it is an efficient way of getting rid of the toxins which can build up in our body.
As if that were not enough, proper breathing also helps promote relaxation and, even without the practice of yoga, is a great method to manage stress all by itself.
When we consider that stress has been designated one of the most widespread and dangerous risks to health, it is easy to understand why learning proper breathing techniques, and yoga breathing in particular, is valuable to good health and a long life.
One analogy is that, while flowers need water in order to develop and to grow properly, one of the equally vital nutrients for us human beings is oxygen.
The free flow and delivery of this vital element is important for the nervous system, as well as for a great many internal organs and glands. Having said that, however, there is no doubt that the organ which must by all means be properly supplied has to be the brain. If the brain lacks a proper supply of oxygen, its ability to regulate and maintain all the other parts of the body becomes compromised.
Looked at from another angle, the better our oxygen delivery system, the better our health.
Now that we understand, at least a little, a few of the main reasons for insuring and improving oxygen delivery within your body, let's discuss the healthy ways of breathing.
It appears at first glance that breathing is an activity that we do not learn how to do. However, we sometimes restrict or modify how we perform this action and this can only result in negative effects on our health. For example, many people assume, because of the jobs they perform, sitting hunched at a desk perhaps, positions which decrease the capacity of the lungs and shorten breathing intervals.
Stress itself can affect proper breathing as well as the proper activity of various organs and functions, including the distribution of oxygen.
It has long been agreed upon by both health researchers and yoga practitioners that there is a close connection between the mental state of a person and the manner in which they breathe. This means that, in order to achieve a perfect state of harmony between your body and your soul, yoga trainers often present yoga sessions dedicated completely to teaching proper yoga breathing techniques. These breathing training sessions are very effective in teaching the new yogi how to achieve the desired stage of peace and synchronization between the inner and the outer self.
As opposed to our daily practices of fast, shallow breathing, yoga training, and yoga breathing in particular, stresses and promotes the benefits of deep breathing. Among the most important beneficial effects of this manner of breathing are:
The Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath By Yogi Ramacharaka
- Improvement of health and brain oxygenation.
- Rejuvenation of the skin, which tends to become considerably smoother, often accompanied by loss of facial wrinkles.
- Deep breathing leads to stronger lungs, a healthier heart, and better function of all organs.
- Relaxation of both body and mind.