The breath is one of the most important aspects of Yoga. Breathing regulates your state of mind, your emotions, your concentration, as well as a variety of other things.
Breathing alsoaffects our daily emotional state, concentration, stress level, and believe it or not, our sleeping patterns. Learning to breathe the right way will help us to be healthier, calmer and give us the ability to handle stressful life situations. Plus it makes you feel better!!!
The correct form of breathing is to push the abdomen out while inhaling, and let it come back in naturally while exhaling.
HOW TO BREATHE PROPERLY
The diaphragm is the membrane that separates the lungs from the stomach. When we breathe in, our lungs fill up with air pushing the diaphragm down, which in turn makes the abdomen protrude out. During exhalation, the abdomen retreats in automatically.
To be sure you breathe correctly, you must divide the breath into three parts; lower abdomen, middle abdomen, and chest.
When inhaling, first fill up the lower abdomen with air, then the middle abdomen, and last the chest. When exhaling, the air in the chest goes out first, then the air in the middle abdomen, and lastly the air in the lower abdomen. You must physically push the abdomen out when inhaling, and in when exhaling. However, when done correctly, there is no need to pull the abdomen in because it is done effortlessly.
You can compare inhalation to filling up a glass of water. The first thing to be filled up is the bottom of the glass (lower abdomen), then the center part of the glass (the middle abdomen), and finally the top of the glass (chest). Likewise, exhaling can be compared to drinking the glass of water. First we drink the water in the top (chest), and second, the middle part of the glass (the middle abdomen), and last the water in the bottom (lower abdomen).
For most people, due to society pressures, breathing is done exactly opposite of how it should be. Studies show us that around 40% of people breathe incorrectly. Breathing incorrectly has definite negative consequences in that you could develop future illnesses. If you can consciously breathe the right way by forcing the abdomen out during inhalation your body will soon pick up this rhythm.
The human brain has many functions and one of them is to follow the breath. If you are able to breathe anywhere from 1 to 4 times per minute , you will experience what is called the meditative state. Breathing is not about just holding the breath in or out, it’s about breathing long and deeply. Do this by breathing very slowly, using the full capacity of your lungs and completely exhaling.
The best way to breath properly is to build up little by little. The lung’s capacity starts to expand, and as a consequence your mind becomes calmer, more balanced, and you will be able to concentrate more fully and make better decisions.
The magic of breathing starts when you master exhaling. It seems that during the inhalation, the mind is calmer and one can hold the breath longer without experiencing any discomfort. During exhalation there is a natural urge to inhale immediately after exhalation. When this natural tendency calms down you will be able to reach a higher level of consciousness.