Breath – Bridging the Gap

Breathis a vital tool given by the nature to turn introspective. Since ancient times sages have used breath to understand the nature of their mind and access its deep layers which usually remain hidden. If we can observe our breath keenly we begin to understand the deep relationship between the flow of breath and quality of mind. Respiration is that medium, if utilised properly, one can have the complete knowledge of body, mind and of the mental impurities hidden deep inside us. With the help of simple breathing practices we can easily clear our mind and understand it nature and improve level of well-being.

Breath – The Bridge

Our pattern of respiration can tell a lot about the way we feel in our body and mind. Irregular breathing pattern and haphazardness leads to pranic imbalance, leading to sickness in body and mind.  Correction of breathing patterns is one the most effective way by which imbalances of body and mind can be restored back to normalcy. Good breathing habits also lead to systematic development of body and psyche.

Respiration acts like a bridge between the conscious and the sub-conscious mind, between voluntary and involuntary processes of the body or in general body and mind. Respiratory system is both voluntary and involuntary in nature and hence it becomes a useful tool to even correct involuntary functions.

Let us learn and practice some simple breathing practices which normalises the breathing rate, make it uniform and rhythmic and uniting the body and mind. The practice is known as sectional breathing, which is divided into three sections. It also serves as a preparatory practice for Pranayama. It corrects the wrong breathing pattern and increases the vital capacity of lings.

  1. Abdominal Breathing or Diaphragmatic Breathing

Position: Padmasana, Ardha-padmasana, Sukhasana

Practice                                   

  • Sit in any comfortable position as mentioned above with hands resting on knees.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply while bringing the abdomen out.
  • Exhale slowly and draw the abdomen in.
  • Repeat five cycles coordinating the breath with the abdominal movement.
  • Make sure entire process is slow, continuous and relaxing.
  • In abdominal we utilise the lower lobes of the lungs.

2. Thoracic Breathing or Intercostal Breathing

Position: Padmasana, Ardha-padmasana, Sukhasana

Practice

  • Sit in any comfortable position as mentioned above with hands resting on knees.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply while bringing the chest forward and upward.
  • Exhale slowly and relax the chest.
  • Repeat five cycles coordinating the breath with the chest movement.
  • Make sure entire process is slow, continuous and relaxing.
  • Avoid any movement of abdomen.
  • In thoracic breathing we utilise the middle lobes of lungs.

3. Clavicular Breathing

Position: Padmasana, Ardha-padmasana, Sukhasana

Practice

  • Sit in any comfortable position as mentioned above with hands resting on knees.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply while lifting the clavicle bone and shoulder upwards.
  • Exhale slowly and drop the shoulders down.
  • Repeat five cycles coordinating the breath with the shoulder movement.
  • Make sure entire process is slow, continuous and relaxing.
  • Avoid any movement of abdomen and chest.
  • In clavicular breathing we utilise the top lobes of lungs.

With the help of these breathing practices we become aware of our breath and also the three components of respiration. When our respiration is correct, slow, deep and rhythmic, the dynamics of mind is also corrected. The mind becomes calm, focused and relaxed.

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