There's a good reason people speak of "the breath of life." Breathing is the key to a calm state of mind and healthy immunity against disease. Indeed, deep breathing, also known as pranayama, goes with the practice of yoga and meditation.
How pranayama influences you
When you take long, deep breaths down into your belly region, your nervous system responds favorably. You become tranquil and gain emotional balance. Also, you defeat stress as it cannot exist when the environment of your mind is healthy.
Deep breathing in yoga
Before you practice yoga, at the beginning of meditation sessions, or when you carry out asanas, you can purposely breathe deeply. Doing so will instantly aid a peaceful mindset and help you relax physically.
The practice of pranayama
Sit comfortably, perhaps in a meditative position with your legs crossed and your hands placed palms up resting on your lap. Close your eyes, and begin to breathe in gradually and deeply, filling your lungs with air. Exhale equally slowly.
As you breathe in, imagine that you inhale peace and health, and as you breathe out, imagine that you exhale unwanted thoughts and tension from your mind and body. Pay attention only to the sensation and sound of your breath as it enters and leaves. If other thoughts arise, accept them in passing and let them go. Do not feed unwanted thoughts with attention and they will automatically fade. Return your energy to your breath.
Relax into the exercise, and release stress as you gain a peaceful mental state. When you breathe this way, you reset your autonomic nervous system and gain greater welfare as a result.
As you engage in asanas, breathe into gentle stretches and picture tension leaving each area of your body that you notice at that moment. Let pranayama aid and deepen yoga, so you make the most of your practice.
Whenever you experience anxiety or come under pressure, breathe deeply and gain inner peace. You will manage challenges with ease as negativity will not hamper your thoughts.
Also, you can use pranayama regularly during the day or night. There are occasions when you have free time, or can combine breathing exercises with what you are doing. For instance, as you walk, tend your garden, carry out household chores, or shop, you can take long, deep breaths into your lungs and calm your soul and body.
Engaging in deep breathing regularly will aid your yoga practice and all areas of your life. Eventually, you will train yourself to breathe deeply without the need to intend to do so. Thus, you will benefit from composure, clarity of thought, and a permanently calm nature.
Do not worry that pranayama will make you sleepy or too relaxed because it will heighten your awareness and alertness as it improves your emotional and physical wellness.
Breathing practice is an important ingredient of yoga as they complement each other. Use pranayama as a tool to intensify yoga and your well-being will increase as well as your joy.