Breath – Bridging the Gap

August 25th, 2022 by

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.

Five Common Benefits of all Pranayama – Breathing Techniques

July 6th, 2022 by

Pranayama is a vast field of yoga, which utilizes certain breathing techniques to help us understand the essence of prana. The Rishis (sages) have linked prana with the breath in its gross form,  hence they initiated a complete system of breathing techniques, that initially would help them to understand their breath at the physical level and then to realize the essence of prana. Each technique has its own benefits but there are at least five common benefits for all pranayama i.e. breathing techniques.

Breath is the most vital process of the body. It is the closest thing to us and yet the most forgotten. No matter what we eat, how much we exercise, how resilient our genes are, how skinny or young or wise we are—none of it will matter unless we’re breathing correctly. Yet, the truth is that our capacity to breathe has been deteriorating through the years and the main reason is the stressful lifestyle. Research have clearly shown that more than the average of people is breathing incorrectly, which lead them to a list of many chronic diseases.

In ancient times, the hatha yoga masters had understood that our life span is depended on the rhythm of the respiration. By observing the animals, they noticed that animals with slow breath rate such as tortoise have longer life span than those animals with high breath rate, such as dogs. For this reason they started to begin aware of their breath and focused on their breathing patterns.  After long observation and realization the Hatha Yogis introduced a complete system of breathing techniques, which at the gross level is related to the breath and at the subtle level is related to higher level of consciousness through the expansion of prana. This system is called ‘Pranayama’

Hatha Yoga Pradipika, one of the classical texts and the most influential on hatha yoga, mentions eight pranayama. That is Suryabheda, Ujjai, Seetkari, Sheetali, Plavini, Moorcha, Brahmari, Bhastrika. Each one of them has certain benefits and certain contraindictions. Some benefits are common for all pranayama – breathing techniques.

All pranayama techniques increase lungs’ capacity

Pranayama ‘trains’ the muscles of respiration and the respiratory organs. It strengthens the respiratory muscles and it helps the lungs to become more elastic, resulting in a healthier process of breathing. The techniques of pranayama draw sufficient air to the lungs and allow more time for the oxygen to mix with the blood flow. The oxygenated blood will be transported to the cells, which are nourished by it.

All pranayama techniques alleviate heart diseases & hypertension:

The breathing techniques of pranayama minimize the stress on the cardiac system by slowing down the breath. When the breath is slow it gives rest to the heart. Coronary muscles are relaxed without reducing the supply of oxygen to the brain and the other body parts, resulting in a balanced blood pressure and healthy heart.

All pranayama techniques harmonize the endocrine system

During breathing techniques the circulation of the blood is very active and its quality very rich, because of the oxygen supply. The rich supply is brought to the endocrine glands, it enhances their function and along with the regulated breathing helps to balance the system.

All pranayama techniques harmonize the autonomic nervous system

All the major structures of the respiratory system have nerves related to the autonomic nervous system. Inhalation brings in oxygen and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. Exhalation brings out the carbon dioxide and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Hence, both hemispheres of the nervous system are stimulated, which results to their balance.

All pranayama techniques lead to mind steadiness

Breathing techniques result in synchronous flow of alpha, theta and delta waves (what is the meaning of mantra om) which harmonize the brain activity.

By understanding pranayama we understand how the billions of molecules we bring in with each breath have built our bones, sheaths of muscle, blood, etc. By understanding pranayama we realize that breathing techniques are a very powerful medicine, because breathing in different patterns can really influence our overall health.

Without breath no one and nothing can survive.

Take care of your breath.

Be happy.