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Rhythmic Yoga Breathing for Inducing Deep Relaxation

By l.m.

The truth is we do not know how to breathe the right way. Our life-long accumulated emotional wounds and psychical blockages lead to unfavorable changes in our natural deep breathing. Our breathing gets shallower and shorter. So, we need to learn anew the art of correct and proper breathing.

Seemingly unrelated, we have the relaxation. But, breathing and relaxation are two very much related things. Breathing exercises can help us relax and remove the accumulated daily stress. On the other hand, only a fully relaxed body knows how to breathe deeply.

figure in yoga lotus posture Yoga is a spiritual discipline closely correlated to the art of correct breathing and deep relaxation. It can teach us how to breathe properly. It can also help us enter the forgotten natural state of relaxed and peaceful body and mind.

During the breathing practice - in Yoga known as pranayama - we learn that conscious and focused breathing means envigorating and energizing our whole body. This is due to the fact that, regardless of the type of pranayama utilized, we basically assimilate prana - or universal energy - in our body. It is important to understand that while performing conscious yoga breathing exercises we assimilate energy along with oxygen.

By virtue of this pranic accumulation, our body becomes more calm and more relaxed. Please be aware that Yogic breathing does not imply hyper-ventilation or rapid respiration. On the contrary - it means slow and stady inhaling and exhaling, at the same time being aware of the very processes involved, as well as of the other sensations in our boy. If performed properly any type of yogic pranayama should calm down our nervous system and improve our sense of well-being.

Yoga breathing is a complex system - a sistem developed many thousand years ago when human life as well as their spiritual needs were different. Within the system of Yoga, different pranayamas are often being combined with other Yogic practices, producing even more complex exercises, such as those found in Krya Yoga for example. Without going into too many details, we will concentrate on a few simple pranic breathing exercises, which can be performed by everyone.

The Simplest Yoga Breathing Exercise

  • Sit down comfortably, with your spine being as straight up as you can manage to put it. It is important to have your spine flat so that the energy can go up without difficulties. It is not required to be in the yoga lotus posture during this exercise Let your hands rest comfortably on the tops of your legs.
  • Close your eye lids and try to relax the muscles around your eyes.
  • Turn your attention inside, toward the inner side of your being. You will start noticing your natural breathing process. Do not force the breath, just try to be conscious of it, to follow it with your mind. Feel your lungs filling up with air, and then going back down during the process breathing out.
  • You can follow your natural breathing for some time, usually up to ten minutes.
  • In time you will learn how to prolong your inhaling, so that the upper part of your lungs will start filling up too. This part of the lungs is almost always left empty in our "normal" shallow breathing. Likewise, try to extend your exhaling, so that you push the belly up towards the diaphragm to help emptying the lungs.

A More Complicated Pranayama

  • We can go a step further and try one slightly more complicated breathing method. The first step is just like in the previous exercise. You need to situate yourself in a comfortable position, straighten up your back and close your eyes.
  • Now, instead of following your breath, you will start a simple cycle made out of 3 steps. inhaling, holding your breath, and exhaling. While counting to 7 you will inhale. While counting to 7 you will keep your breath, and while counting to 7 you will exhale. You should repeat this cycle 10 times.
  • Try not to take too much air during the inhaling phase. Otherwise, you will have a problem during the hext 2 phases, since you will probably have to interrupt them or increase the counting pace in order to inhale again.

The point to note here is that apart from the normal breathing in and breathing out, we have inserted a third phase where we hold our breath. In contrast to the previous exercise, where we have just followed our natural breathing, here we have this important addition of keeping our inhaled breath. Why is this so important? It is exactly during this breathing phase that the pranic energy is being absorbed in our body. It is here that we tap into an additional energy reservoir that will help us relax even deeper. This prana will later on be redistributed throughout our body, filling the gaps and empty areas of our body where pranic energy is lacking and improving our general health.

If done properly these two simple breathing technique can help you recharge your batteries, relax, and get you prepared for the challenges that face you during the course of your everyday more or less stressful life.

About the Author

l.m. is a member of sunnyray's team.

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