When a baby is born, breath is the first point of contact with the external environment. Deep breathing is both an art and a science. A Yogi always pays attention to his breath. If you are not breathing properly while performing your asanas you are merely stretching and not doing Yoga. Hence, you cannot separate the significance of breath with the physical part of Yoga.
Our breath is life. The quality of breath one takes, can give a great deal information about the state of the person. A person when under stress, does shallow breathing. The breathing is not complete. The lungs are not properly filled with oxygen. This lack of oxygen in the lungs causes further stress to the person.
Why should we do deep breathing
So, let’s first understand when happens when we inhale.
Organs of respirations consist of lungs (2 in number) and the air passages.Lungs are located on either side of the chest cavity inside the ribs. The functions of the lung is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it to the blood stream. During this process of cleaning the blood, by supplying oxygen, the carbon dioxide is transferred back into the atmosphere.
The air passages consist of interior of the nose, pharynx, larynx, windpipe and bronchial tubes.
When we breathe, the air is drawn through the nose. It is warmed by contact of mucous membrane which is richly supplied with blood and after it passed through pharynx and larynx, it passes to the trachea (or the windpipe). Trachea is further subdivided into numerous tubes or pipes called bronchial tubes which finally terminate in lungs.
The air is inhaled inside the lungs with the help of diaphragm, a strong flat sheet liked muscle which separates the chest from the abdomen. When it expands, the size of the chest and the lungs increase and hence the air is drawn inside. When it releases the chest and the lungs contract and the air is expelled out.
Pure blood flows in arteries. When pure, blood is bright red and rich, laden with oxygen. In veins the impure blood flows, blue and dull, laden with impurities. The impure blood flows inside the right auricle of the heart.When it is filled, it contracts forcing the blood to flow to right ventricle and which sends it to lungs.
The impure blood is distributed to millions to tiny air cells in the lungs. The oxygen that we have inhaled while breathing comes in contact of the impure blood. Here combustion takes place. The blood takes up the oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. The purified blood is again carried back to the heart.
The pure blood is taken to the left auricle, it is forced into the left ventricles and from there into our arteries.
Once the process of respiration and blood purification is understood. It is important to note that, the blood is can’t be purified properly if the oxygen intake is not sufficient. Thus our body is robbed of proper nourishment. Hence always deep breathing is recommended.
When we deep breathe, we properly breathe through nose and sufficient amount of oxygen enters our body. This abdominal breathing helps to control our nervous system, relaxes our body and brings control. We can cure some of the diseases (common cold cough, tensions, blood pressure, and depression) by breathing properly.
How to do deep breathing
For beginners I am referring deep breathing through throat or larynx.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, while you constrict the back of your throat so that it makes a soft sound similar to snoring.
- Hold your breath for another count of four, and then exhale through your nose for a count of four, again making the soft sound. The sound itself will actually help to relax you.
- Repeat this motion for a count of six, then repeat for a count of eight. Continue to repeat this exercise several times, until you are feeling relaxed. Source
This is the first step that will helps us in learning to breath properly. Over the course of time, more on deep breathing will be added from my end.
Till then Happy Practicing.