Breathing. It is the first thing we do once born, the last thing we do before leaving this body. It is vital to our existance, and yet many of us are unaware of our breathing patterns throughout the day. Partially becasue yes, it is intinctual to breath. But that is just the beginning.
The Sanskrit word “Prana” translates to ” Life force” or “vital energy ( flow).” The Sanskrit word “Yama” translates roughly to ” dicipline within society.” Henceforth “Pranayama” , dicipline of vital energy through the breath, exemplifys that concious and proper breathing is not only integral to your yoga practice, but infact your life.
Have you ever noticed that if you are cooped up inside your home or work space all day, with no fresh air circulation, that you dont feel so great? Lacking energy, feeling depleated and constrained? Yet if you take a walk outside and breath in fresh air, you feel more energized, healthy, and your general moral is boosted? The quality of air we breath and the acknowledgment of how we are breathing has tremendous effects on our health. One example is nose breathing verses mouth breathing; When we breath through the nose, it functions as a filter for free radicals and dangerous pathogens in the air. Breathing through the mouth, we are more suceptable to germs and viruses growing, shallowness of breath, less oxygen flowing to the brain. . . Now thake those facts and put yourself back in that stuffy, dusty, stagnant air filled room. How are you breathing? Is the breath gently filling the body with the inhale and evenly so releasing with the exhale? Try it. Through the nose. Ask yourself throughout the day: “How am I breathing?” Not only will more mindful breathing improve your overall health, but it will reduce stress and remind you to be present.