|Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh|
Breathing. Seems simple enough, but most of us do not breathe correctly or efficiently. We all know breath is needed to live but do you know what it does for a body? for a mind? for a spirit? Here is the condensed list of benefits:
- Gives you more energy
- Reduces mental and physical fatigue therefore reducing the need for stimulants and drugs
- Eliminates toxins and waste
- Improves blood circulation, relieves congestion, increases supply of blood to muscles and bones
- Increases oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells of the body. The brain and eyes need much oxygen!
- Correct breathing (depending on technique) can calm or stimulate the central nervous system and balance the brain hemispheres
- Better breathing opens up and balances the subtle energies of the body
- Using the diaphram with proper breath massages the internal organs improving their function.
- Facilitates the movement of the lymph throughout the body which eliminates toxins and improves the immune system
- Shallow breathing puts stress on the organs of elimination
- Along with a balanced alkaline diet, toxic carbon dioxide will be eliminated more readily through the breath
- Improves the appearance of the skin, reduces wrinkles thanks to better blood circulation
- Relax deeper
- Recover faster from stress, exertion and injury
- Reduces muscular spasm, tension, adhesions, and fibrosity
Feel like improving your breathing? Here are three options to activate relaxation and quiet your mind.
The yogic breath Sit with your neck, head, and spine in alignment. Place your hands on your chest and breath in and out through your nose, feeling your chest expand. Repeat 3-4 times. Now place your hands on your belly and inhale through your nostrils, letting your belly expand with air. Exhale through your nose and press in slightly with your hands. Repeat 3-4 times. Next, place your left palm on your chest and your right palm on your belly. As you inhale through your nose let your belly expand and then bring your breath up into your chest, feeling your ribs expand. Exhale through your nose, releasing your breath from your chest, then your stomach. Repeat 3-4 times. Now close your eyes, rest your hands on your lap, and repeat 10 times.
Alternate nostril breathing Place your right index finger and middle finger on the bridge of your nose. Close the right nostril with your thumb, inhale and at the top of the inhalation, close your left nostril with your ring finger. Release your thumb and exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril and at the top of the exhalation close the right side with your thumb. Release your ring finger from your left nostril. Repeat 6-12 times.
Left nostril breathing Close your right nostril. Breathe in through your left nostril and out through your left nostril. Repeat this 10-20 times.