Breathe Your Way to Health

No hype this!

Are you concerned with your health?
Who is not?

Do you want to live long?
Who doesn't?

Do you feel you don't have the time or discipline to exercise regularly?
Who doesn't?

And, are you frustrated that you are not doing anything to keep yourself fit?
You don't have to!

What I am going to discuss is not Yoga or Meditation. Obviously, I cannot outline a Yogic or Meditational course in a short article like this. I am going to suggest something very simple which anyone can practice anytime without any exertion or strain.

You know that breathing is related to life. You are alive because you are breathing and you are breathing because you are alive. But have you observed how your breathing pattern changes at different times? All of us know that our breathing becomes heavy immediately after we run or walk fast or lift a heavy object or do something that involves strain. So physical strain is associated with heavy breathing. And breathing heavily is not something you enjoy! It gives you physical discomfort and you want to get over it as quickly as you can.

You would have observed that you breathe heavily when you are angry, frustrated or shocked. Thus heavy breathing is associated with mental discomforts too!

Conversely (and logically), light breathing is associated with relaxation. So, if you can have longer and more frequent moments of light breathing, then you can definitely look forward to a healthier life.

Here is a simple recipe for better physical and mental state, which you can develop using your breathing style:

1) Whenever you are free, just observe your breathing. It is as if you are an outsider watching the way you breathe. Don't try to control or change the way you breathe. Just observe it. After several seconds or at the most a couple of minutes, you will feel that your breathing has become fine and light. You don't have to do anything. Just observe it happening. If you are not able to get this experience, don't worry. Perhaps you have been too tense or too anxious for this experience. Take the experience as it comes. Unknown to you, some change would have definitely taken place. It also happens that some times you get this experience and at other times you don't. Again, nothing abnormal about this. Like any exercise, the more you practice, the more consistent will be the experience.

Be in this state for a few minutes. You would have experienced a deep state of physical as well as mental relaxation, which would do a lot of good to you in the long run.

2) The second exercise is something that can be integrated with your activities. Since we have two nostrils, we normally inhale through one and exhale through the other. This alternates periodically. Have you ever observed through which nostril you breathe - the left or the right? Right now, keep your index finger under your nose and judge through which nostril the air goes in and through which it comes out. Initially it may be difficult to judge. But after a few attempts, you will be able to judge.

Now, just imagine that you are inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right nostril. You don't have to physically do anything. Be with this thought for a minute, then continue with your other activities. Some other time, imagine that you are inhaling through the right and exhaling through the right. By doing this a few times every day, you will be bringing a balance to your breathing and the impact of this on your physical and mental faculties will be significant.

I do not intend to go through the theory behind it. But by practicing the two above mentioned exercises, you feel better both physically and mentally in course of time, that will be the best testimony to the efficacy of this process.

I am not suggesting for a moment that you can dispense with exercise or other health improvement activities. If you have been doing exercises, these two exercises will enhance the benefits of exercising. If you have not been exercising, then these exercises are going to give you the much-needed boost to your health.

Fine Breathing! Great Living!

Breathing is related to health. People who have excess fat will often develop difficulty inbreathing. Breathing is related to living. Therefore, if you have excess fat focus on losing your fat