Importance of Breath

Pranayama (breath control/exercises) is focused on in most hatha yoga classes, but attentions on breathing exercises alone are rare. The more I study about yoga and Vedic techniques for emotional health, the more evident it has become that Pranayama is crucial. As stated by Swami Ajaya, in Healing the Whole Person-Applications of Yoga Psychotherapy, “Breath is the vehicle that links all facets of one’s functioning; breathing, posture, and thinking are interrelated, and they influence one another. In yoga psychology, the breath is a tool for regulating all of one’s emotional and mental states, and even the way in which one behaves.”

Elementary studies of the breath can have dramatic effects.  Begin to notice your natural ‘style’ of breathing. Is your breath shallow/deep, smooth/catchy, constant/intermittent? Any subtleties that you can make note of will help you deepen your awareness. As you become more familiar with your personalized breath you can begin to observe how your breath changes throughout the day and in response to varying activities and different emotional states.

What do you do with all the above information?  Well, the great news is that once you are more aware of the interaction between your consciousness and your breath, you can begin to have more control over your experience of life. In the next couple of blogs I plan to discuss the specific ways that breath can play a powerful role in your level of happiness.

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Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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