Why do we take for granted the core of our well-being….our breath- the simple process of cleansing, oxygenating, rejuvenating our inner organs. We bypass the focal point of our sustenance, the reason for us being alive. If we merely learn to breathe correctly we can tend to our body as a gardener to his plants. The simple art of “Pranayam” is known to have cured several diseases. Yet we overlook the obvious and follow the faddish. Diets, aerobics, spinning, weight training and all such forms of exercise will attain their full utility only when we breathe correctly. Even in practicing meditation, the first step is to feel your breath enter your body and then take a journey with it throughout your body.

The initial advice from all yogis is to first concentrate on your ‘pranayam’ – your breath. It is infact the simplest form of connecting with your innerself. It is unfortunate that only after the West started advocating ‘Yoga” as a more fulfilling form of exercise that, we Indians have woken up to the rich heritage that our forefathers left behind. The various aasanas serve in stretching the various limbs, muscles, allowing them to replenish their oxygen reserves. But before we get to doing them what we really require to learn is to how to breathe right.

Have you watched a sleeping baby breathe? When he breathes in, his stomach rises and when he breathes out the stomach goes in…..that is the essence of breathing….which we as adults forget over the period of time…we do the opposite, which results in what we call as shallow breathing. Our body does not get oxygenated to the maximum.

The correct technique of breathing is the essence of a healthy body. Depleted oxygen reserves in our body quickens the aging process as it reduces the absorption of nutrients by the cells in our body. If one adapts this into our daily routine not only does the body feel more rejuvenated but we also trigger off an increased metabolism.

The technique of breathing differs according to the activity one is doing. In the normal course of the day one has to make sure that one is breathing through the nose and not the mouth. The nasal hair filters the air as it goes down the nostrils, through the wind pipe into the lungs. This process is very essential as one in living in an environment that is not free of pollution.

However, when one is exercising and for stamina building in a sport, there is different breathing technique that is applied. Breathe in through the nose deeply and breathe out sharply through the mouth/nose. This increases the lung power. If one applies this technique while jogging, the time taken to regain normal breathing and bring your heart rate back to normal will be easier and faster.

So breathe long and be strong.

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