Yoga guru Pushpa Bakshi.
Yoga guru Pushpa Bakshi. Christopher Chan

Learning the proper way to breathe using Pranayama

PRANAYAMA is the science of breath control.

It consists of a series of exercises intended to meet the body's needs and keep it in vibrant health.

Pranayama comes from the following words:

Prana - "life force" or "life energy".

Yama - "discipline" or "control".

Ayama - "expansion", "non-restraint", or "extension".

In our respiration process, we inhale oxygen into our body that goes through our body systems in a form of energy to charge our different body parts.

Then we exhale carbon dioxide and take away all toxic wastes from our body.

Through the practice of Pranayama, the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide is attained.

Absorbing prana through breath control links our body, mind, and spirit.

Due to our lifestyles of work, family, financial pressures, we tend to ignore our breathing.

Thus, it tends to be fast and shallow. The use of only a fraction of your lungs results in lack of oxygen and may lead to different complications.

Heart diseases, sleep disorders, and fatigue are some of the effects of oxygen starvation. By practising deep and systematic breathing, we re-energise our body.

Here are some reasons why Pranayama is important:

It teaches us the proper way to breathe. We became used to breathing from our chest, using only a fraction of the lungs, not knowing that this unhealthy and unnatural way of inhaling may lead to several complications.

This increases the capacity of our lungs, bringing more oxygen supply to the body to function well. We learn how to breathe slowly and deeply - the right way.

Pranayama reduces the toxins and body wastes from within our body. It prevents one from acquiring diseases.

Pranayama helps in one's digestion. With the proper way of breathing, metabolism and health condition will start to improve.

Pranayama develops our concentration and focus. It fights away stress and relaxes the body.

Pranayama offers better self-control. Through concentration, one can better handle temper and reactions.

Pranayama should not be forced and done without proper preparation. Breath control is a process to cleanse the mind and body, which should first be done appropriately and with guidance and preparation.

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