Yoga breathing by mikew56


									In Yoga, breathing is the key to success

In Yoga, breathing is of utmost importance; it is only when you have
mastered the technique of breathing right that you can hope to gain from
Yoga. The various breathing exercises in Yoga are called ‘Pranayama’, and
these exercises need to be practiced with immense concentration and
determination before you can incorporate them naturally in your daily

Many diseases and stress related problems are caused by wrong, shallow
breathing and deep breathing or ‘Pranayama’ is a sure shot way of
improving your health. In deep breathing, you need to take in air right
from the pit of your navel, up your abdominal muscles and chest so that
the maximum amount of oxygen is supplied to all the internal organs of
the body.

Once the air (oxygen) is inside you, you should retain it for as much
time as possible and then slowly release it by making a slight ‘O’ with
your mouth (or the sound ‘whoosh’). This is termed as ‘mindful
breathing’. Mindful breathing strengthens your respiratory system and
improves your immune system. It also increases the capacity of your mind
and concentration, and has an overall positive impact physically,
mentally and spiritually.

The first step in achieving the right breathing regime is to observe your
breathing cycle. In order to do so you need to temporarily isolate
yourself and sit in a comfortable position. The most popular yogic
position is the cross-legged one, called Sukhasana. Another possible
posture is when you sit on your haunches with your feet comfortably
tucked behind you -- this is called Vajrasana. Incidentally this is a
good posture to be in to speedup the digestion procedure, but it could
get uncomfortable after a few minutes.

Your final option is to sit in a comfortable chair with your feet planted
firmly on the ground. Whatever be your posture, remember to keep your
back and neck completely erect, but not tense. Now begin with some
natural breathing through the nose; keep the mouth relaxed. Observe each
inhalation and exhalation you make, and try to gauge the internal rhythm
of your body.

Next, start counting the length of your breaths. Here it may help to keep
your eyes closed, and concentrate on lengthening each inhalation and
exhalation. Count slowly in your mind (Thousand and one, thousand and
two, thousand and three…), and get your body used to the fact that your
breaths are longer, and more importantly, the length of your inhalation
and exhalation is the same. Start with a count of five inhalations, five
exhalations and then try to move on to a twelve count through patience
and practice.

Your final goal should be to inhale for 12 counts, hold your breath in
for 12 counts, then exhale for 12 counts and hold again for the same
period before starting the cycle again.

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