Breathing: a philosophy of living and letting go
The importance of good breathing
Yoga makes it a point of honor to remind us of an element that is often forgotten despite its vital role: breathing. We can go several days without eating or drinking, but only a few minutes without breathing, because breathing is the natural and essential movement that gives life.
This mechanism is so obvious and automatic that we tend not to worry about it. Who can claim to pay attention to their breath? And especially how many are we that forget to breathe correctly when we are too busy with an activity, faced with an emergency or a stress? However, a good breath would help us to live more serenely in many situations. Because bad breathing has multiple harmful consequences: physical and nervous fatigue, palpitations, digestive problems…
While good breathing ensures the elimination of toxins, improves blood circulation, reduces blood pressure … When you are short of breath, there is necessarily a lack of oxygenation. There follows a decline in physical and mental capacities. It becomes difficult to move properly, and to think, to concentrate, in short, we keep calm and our common sense, the emotions run wild! Learning to observe and control your breath is a crucial element in a yoga session, but also for daily living. Whatever the circumstances, if the breath is chaotic so are we, while if we breathe calmly the body and mind relax and are free to use their full potential.
Recharge your batteries through breathing
As we have already seen, the goal of yoga is to move towards “liberation”, which is a state of “letting go”. To do this, this discipline proposes to rebalance our energy, the basis of our capacity to “be”, and therefore a fundamental point of the yogi philosophy. Logically, yoga considers the breath to be what allows the vital energy to flow. Also, all yoga exercises are associated with breathing, not just during relexation or meditation, but also for practicing the postures. In Sanskrit, “correct breathing” is called “Pranayama”. “Prana” means “energy” and “ayama” relates to vitality. For the breath to become a true ally during the exercises, it is necessary above all to be aware of it, to observe it, then to never forget it. During the postures, if we focus only on the movements, we quickly start to pant, the breathing becomes insufficient. The exercise will not bring the discounted relaxation and the practice of yoga will lose its meaning. So if you know the importance of your breathing and keep this idea in mind throughout the session, you can correct yourself before you run out of breath. Not only will your session go much smoother, but you will quickly realize how relaxed it is. The flow of “prana” circulates and revitalizes the whole nervous system. Thus, the mastery of breathing is a real source of energy and appeasement.
Yogic breathing: the consciousness breath
Yogic breathing exercises teach us how to become aware of the breath and better control it. In yoga, breathing is not just an unconscious mechanism of the airways, it is a much deeper action. Yogis work in several ways of breathing, at more or less slow or fast rhythms. The most effective is rib breathing, which affects the lungs and ribs of course. Less well known, abdominal breathing controls belly movements and allows in particular to “massage” the vital organs. But yoga uses many other types of breathing, such as clavicular breathing, located in the upper thoracic part, particularly mobilized during “opening of the heart” exercises intended to relieve tension in the entire upper part of the body. For the purpose of breathing exercises is to become aware that oxygen passes through and animates all parts of the body, even the most unexpected, and to use this air for therapeutic purposes. Thus, we become aware of the air that enters and leaves our nostrils, passing through the lungs which separate the sides, into our digestive organs which unravel, and circulate in our limbs and our head … which is relax. We thus learn to consider ourselves in our entirety. There are many breathing exercises so that the breath, always present, harmoniously rhythms our yoga sessions and our life, like an old benevolent companion that must be pampered.