Did you know…
- How can you tell if you might have breathing problems? One way is to notice whether you hold your breath a lot, breathe more than 10 breaths a minute while at rest, find yourself frequently out of breath, have little belly and lower rib movement and a lot of chest movement when you are breathing at rest, or suck in your belly and raise your shoulders when trying to take a deep breath.
- Research has shown that our health and longevity are closely associated with the health of our lungs and the way we breathe. In short, poor breathing often results in more health problems and a shorter life.
- Deep breathing can be important to both health and spiritual development. Such breathing can increase our vitality and promote relaxation.
A few dietary advices…
For the control of all breathing difficulties, certain minimum dietary restrictions are necessary. All mucus-forming foods should be severely restricted. Milk and products like ice cream and tea or coffee laced with milk and sugar, groundnuts (peanuts), peanuts butter, refined and processed products of all types, but especially white flour products, white rice, white sugar, soda drinks, pastries and sweets, especially chocolate must be particularly avoided.
The diet should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and many of these should be used in the raw form as juices. Plenty of water should be included for daily use so that the affected tissue can be re-nourished by the good diet. All condiments should be kept to a minimum and when used, used as a medicine
When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
When the world rushes by,
Like a subway train
Breathe in Breathe out
When all you can hear
Is a torrent of rain
Breathe in Breathe out
When you’re feeling, significantly,
Slightly less sane
Breathe in Breathe out
And when things slow down,
You can maintain
breathe Out breathe In
No thoughts just breathing
No regret just breathing
No self pity just breathing
No worries about tomorrow just breathing
No thoughts of…
Most of us do not think twice about our pattern of breathing, because it is automatic. Well, yes, unconsciously we all continue to breathe due to our autonomic nervous system but to what extent do we truly give ourselves what our bodies need for optimum health?
Except for diseases associated with smoking, the respiratory organs are largely ignored. By understanding a few basic principles of how the respiratory process works and interacts with the body and mind, we can gain more understanding of how our body functions on many different levels.
The effects of inhalation and exhalation extend far beyond the physical exchange of air in and out of the body…they extend to the workings of the heart and lungs as well as to subtle molecular processes through which the body’s energy production is maintained.
All life forms are composed of tiny living units called cells, each requiring a continuous source of energy. Our body’s tissues and organs are composed of these cells and they must function properly in order to keep us alive. The nutrients supplied by the food we eat act as a fuel but it must be converted into a form that these individual cells can use or we would die.
In prana, the root word ‘pra,’ meaning ‘to fill,’ is added to the root word, ‘an,’ (‘to breathe’ or ‘to live’) creating the new meaning ‘the life that fills with the breath.’ In other words the life principle in action.
Prana commonly translates as ‘air,’ ‘breath,’ ‘spirit,’ ‘life,’ ‘life force,’ ‘energy,’ ‘subtle energy,’ or ‘the upwards moving energy currents within the body.’
Prana is a subtle form of energy. Prana literally means ‘breathing forth’ the universal life force.
Breathing properly connects your body to your mind and spirit, if you connect those 3 elements well, you will definitely make your life better.
In the respiratory system of mammals, a thin sheet of tissue called the pleura wraps around the lungs and lines the chest cavity. The area between the layers of pleura is known as the pleural space, or pleural cavity, and it contains pleural fluid, which provides lubrication as the lungs expand and contract.
Unlike all other mammals, the pleural cavity of elephants is filled with tough connective tissue. This unusual structure allows elephants to snorkel and withstand the differences in pressure above and below water, without rupturing the blood vessels in the lining of their lungs, according to a 2001 article in journal Respiration Physiology.
2. Breathing through the mouth can, over time, create a shrinking of the jaw – resulting in crooked teeth (or a relapse after having your braces removed).
3. Breathing through the mouth is the biggest cause for children developing a lisp when they talk.
4. Getting up during the night to urinate is most likely due to breathing with the mouth open. Breathing through the mouth causes the bladder to shrink, making one feel as though they need to head to the bathroom asap!
5. The more you breathe (hyperventilation) the hungrier you will be and the more acidic the body will become.
6. You should only ever exercise to the intensity that you can keep your mouth closed.
7. We naturally change sides in our sleep approximately every 30 minutes, and this is mostly due to the balancing of the breath through each of the nostrils.
11. If the lungs were open flat they would cover the size of a tennis court!
No matter what anybody tells you, yogic breathing is typically done through the nose, both during inhalation and exhalation.
For traditional yogis, the mouth is meant for eating and the nose for breathing. Here are three good reasons to breathe through the nose:
- Since you are breathing through two small holes instead of one big one, it slows down your breathing. In Yoga, slow is good.
- According to traditional Yoga, nasal breathing stimulates the subtle energy center, which is located near your sinuses. This location is the meeting place of the left (cooling) and the right (heating) current of vital energy that act directly on the nervous and endocrine systems.
- Your nose is the only organ able to properly prepare the air you breathe; mouth breathing leads to over-breathing, chronic hyperventilation, depleted carbon dioxide levels, reduced blood circulation and narrowing of the airways
In addition to relaxing the body and calming the mind, yogic breathing has a spectrum of other benefits. Here are some:
• It steps up your metabolism (the best way to prevent weight increase).
• It uses muscles that automatically improve your posture.
• It keeps the lung tissue elastic, which allows you to take in more oxygen.
• It tones your abdominal area.
• It strengthens your immune system.
• It reduces your levels of tension and anxiety.