Pranayama – Breath Control
Without breath there is no life.
This is why I have chosen breathing (Pranayama) as the first topic for this blog, as well as placing it at the forefront of the 3 pillars of Mindful Warriors. Everything from the lowest degree of organic life up to the highest form of humanity needs to breathe, we can live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but only 3 minutes without air. The connection between life and breath is inseparable as breathing is the most important biological function of the body. The breath has a direct effect on the state of our health, our mental wellbeing and even our life span. In modern times we have forgotten how to breathe properly. Under stress most people shallow breathe, which is just enough to stay alive, I liken it to survival breathing, which is nowhere near enough to sustain a healthy body and mind. On the other hand conscious control of deep breathing will give us the necessary fortitude to live a long and healthy life.
Just knowing how to breathe correctly will have huge benefits on our overall health, the benefits of Pranayama practice are numerous, I have listed just a few below.
Reduces anxiety and depression
Lowers blood pressure
Increases energy levels
Improves blood circulation
Strengthens the immune system
Reduces feelings of stress, being overwhelmed and anger
Relaxes the nervous system and muscles
Enhances the functioning of the internal organs (kidneys, pancreas, intestines, diaphragm, lungs and heart)
Improves the digestive process
Helps in weight loss by increasing the metabolism
Helps the respiratory system work more efficiently
Stimulates the relaxation response
Gently stretches and tones core muscles, including the pelvic floor
In our programs for Schools the first thing we teach children is the art of correct breathing. Once they have learned these techniques they will become second nature and will be something that children can access at any point in their life to reduce tension, anxiety or just to clear their head.
When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.