We are alive while we’re breathing. This process, as many other physiological processes is automatic, we’re not thinking about it. Without thinking we’re involving a very small part of our brain and lungs, leaving the major part out of participating in breathing. By developing control over breathing process, doing breathing practices for a few minutes a day, we can drive significant changes in our body and our life. More of our brain cells will become active during exercise, and after it. You may imagine the effect of it on our thinking activity and memory! The same with our lungs. The positive effect of more oxygen reaching our body parts can’t be underestimated.
After just a few weeks of a simple practice a person feels that energy is growing and becomes balanced in our body. It helps all our body systems to feel better. “Ability to concentrate is developing in our brain” - said Maharashi Patanjali.
What to start with? The first step is observing your breath for a few minutes a day. Sit comfortably (but your back and neck should be straight), close your eyes and pay attention to frequency, depth, lengths of exhalation and inhalation. Your breath will stabilise after a couple of minutes of observation. You’ll feel more light and energetic, more peaceful and calm. This method can be also used when you’re worried, or you want to concentrate before an important meeting or speech.
In one week of observation you can start a morning breathing practice. Sitting comfortably, with straight back first take a minute of observation over your breathing, then inhale through your nose, slowly and deeply, and exhale through your nose slowly and deeply. Practice it for a few minutes and then, observe what’s going on in your body without opening your eyes. After one week try to make the lengths of exhalation and inhalation even (for example, 4 counts for inhalation and 4 counts for exhalation).
This is the first step to control of your breathing, but even this small step will definitely bring changes in your life. You may continue learning and practicing Pranayama by yourself, or ask any expert around you, and enjoy stronger health and with less stress.
Wishing you a wonderful practice!