We can live without food for a couple of days, we can also live without water for a couple of days but we cannot live without oxygen for more than 3-4 minutes and that’s why oxygen is called prana, the life force. Every biochemical and physiological function in the human body requires the right amount of oxygen to sustain itself. If we have less oxygen reaching our cells we have problems like sickness, low energy levels, low immunity or emotions like anger, irritability, and frustration.
Every function in the human body depends on oxygen and yet we don’t breathe the right way. If I ask you right now to pause and look at the way you are breathing. Are you breathing to your full capacity? Are you breathing the right way? And the answer is ‘NO’. We don’t even use 10% of our lung’s capacity which means we are clearly depriving all those 50 trillion cells of oxygen, the very thing which is inexpensive and free. Most of us are breathing the wrong way. We either have shallow breathing or we are breathing from our chest. We don’t have that full inhale or exhale. And why is that? The most commonly observed reason is that people tend to hold in the stomach muscles in order to look slim thus slowly shifting towards chest breathing rather than diaphragmatic breathing. It’s so important to understand that the way you breathe can energize you. If you have shallow breathing you can be extremely tired and fatigued. We mistake this tiredness and fatigue with something else and we go on constantly eating but sometimes all our cells are craving, is oxygen. So when we train our cells, our bodies and our lungs to breathe the right way, to utilize oxygen the right way – everything changes, from our energy levels to our immunity, to the amount of inflammation we have in our body, to just feeling good.
Before your meals; after your meals; before you sleep or after you wake up, you choose the time you want to do deep breathing but do it. When starting to have our meal if we do deep breathing, it helps to shift our body’s metabolism from fight or flight to rest and digest which ensures proper digestion, assimilation and utilization of food.
We know everything starts from a cell. Every disease, imbalance originates from a cell. When we do symptomatic treatment and not address the root cause at cellular level, we fail to heal. Deep breathing ensures oxygen reaches to every single of the trillion cells in our body and support healing.
When it comes to health, people always look for complicated things rather looking at simple solutions. Oxygen is free, it’s inexpensive. We only have to use the right technique and mind fullness to make sure we are breathing the right way. Pranayama, yoga and exercise are fantastic ways to make sure all our trillion cells are receiving their life force.
Here is a simple breathing exercise for you to practice on a daily basis:
- Sit with your back straight, keep your hand on your belly and inhale slowly through your nose (when you inhale, your belly expands, just like a balloon expands when you fill oxygen in it).
- Now hold your breath for six – twelve seconds, at your own comfort level, and then you exhale slowly from your belly (when you exhale, your palm moves towards your spine).
- Your Exhale should be longer than your inhale.
- This is Diaphragmatic breathing. One complete cycle is your inhale, holding the breath for 6-12 seconds and then a complete exhale.
You should do 10 such cycles in a day. You can do this when you wake up to feel energetic, pre and post meals to improve your blood sugar levels & digestion issues and before sleeping to improve the quality of your sleep.
Try this and I can guarantee you will see great improvements in yourself. Don’t push too hard but listen to your body and do it at your own comfort level.