Breathing and Balance

"When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still - and focused" Hatha Yoga Pradipika Our breath is the most vital process of our body.It influences the activities of each and every cell and, most importantly, is directly linked with the performance of the brain. Human being breathe about 15 times per minute and 21 600 times per day. The burning of oxygen and glucose is fueled by our respiration, producing energy to power all muscular contraction, glandular secretion and mental processes. Our breath is intimately linked to all aspects of human experiences.

Most people breathe only very shallow, using a very small part of their lung capacity, depriving the body of oxygen. Rhythmic, deep and slow respiration stimulates calm and content states of mind. Irregular breathing disrupts the rhythms of the brain and leads to physical, emotional and mental blocks. These again can lead to inner conflict, imbalanced personality and disordered lifestyle and disease.

Here is a small but shifting practice for you to try out:

Sit in a comfortable upright position - can be on a chair, doesn't have to be cross legged on the floor. The body is upright and straight and the chest wide open yet relaxed and the shoulders hanging loosely down, hands in you lap or on y our knees. Then bring your awareness to your nostrils and feel the air coming in and out through the nostrils. Just observe your natural breath and feel the cool sensation in the nostrils as you breathe in and the warm sensation as you breathe out. Let your breath slowly clam down and become rhythmically relaxed. Apart from feeling the sensation in the nostrils you can now expand your awareness to the sensation you feel in the body: every time you breathe in you feel the sensation of expansion and as you breathe out the sensation of relaxation.

Connecting like this with your breath for a few minutes every day will make a big difference in your experience of the day. Look forward to you sharing with me your experience of this exercise.