Breath; Part 1 - Natural Breathing

Breath; Part 1 – Natural Breathing

“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth”

Sanskrit Proverb

Correct, simple natural breathing should look like this:

Breathe in and the navel point moves out. Breathe out and the navel point moves in. Breathe through the nose to filter the air.

Many people have incorrectly learned to breathe and inhale by drawing the belly in and lifting the shoulders. This actually makes less space for air in the lungs rather than more. This is key and in fact, it may be the single most important thing you learn in yoga. Learning to breathe properly changes everything.

Another common breathing mistake is shallow, erratic breathing done all in the upper chest. Shallow breathing is caused by stress and over time it weakens our nervous system, making us ripe for illness. Breathing correctly and deeply in your day-to-day life changes the amount of energy you have in reserve to manage emergencies. Also emotionally, trauma gets stored in our muscular system and proper breathing allows its release. It’s a way of removing the body armour we build up to shield ourselves from trauma, which left alone stiffens both the body and the heart. Correct breathing increases the flow of prana (energy), so you feel increased vitality and a general sense of well-being.

Practicing Natural Breathing:

Sit with a straight spine either cross-legged on the floor (Easy Pose) or on a chair, feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your belly, close your eyes and breathe. Your hands should move out on the inhale and in on the exhale. Imagine a balloon in the belly – as you breathe in, imagine the balloon filling with air, and as you exhale use your belly to push all the air out of the balloon. Do this now for a few minutes until you get the hang of it. Then come back to it throughout the day, at your desk, on the train, in bed, whenever you can. The more you practice the quicker you will overcome the habit of breathing incorrectly.

Master the breath and you master your self.

Breath; Part 1 – Natural Breathing