Health is not simply the absence of sickness.
Importance of breath in spirituality
Buddha told...if you can observe your breath for an hour, WITHOUT any thoughts, then you will become enlightened !!!
Enlightenment ...so easy ?! Try observing your breath for just 5 minutes, WITHOUT any thoughts. You will come to know how difficult it is !
Breath and longevity
Few species of giant tortoises live for more than 200 years. What's the secret behind their astonishing life span ?
|Breathing rate||Life span|
|Galapagos tortoise||3-5 times/min||200+ years|
|Human||10-14 times/min||100+ years|
|Rabbit||30-60 times/min||8-12 years|
So, the number of breaths in a minute and life span are inversely proportional.
And here comes the next question, how to bring down the number of breaths per minute ? It's quite possible through particular Pranayama practices.
And through Yoga, one can learn to use the lungs to their maximum capacity and to control the breath. Proper breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical.
Breath and mind control
You might have noticed that your breathing pattern varies according to your mental state. For example, when you are relaxed, calm and composed you have deep breathing at a slower rate. And when you are agitated your breathing is shallow and fast.
If you want to control your mind, say you want to become calm, then ordering your mind like "Hey mind relax, please relax..." won't work or it might be too difficult. Because mind is like a monkey ! It won't listen to you.
Rather if you control your breathing pattern (which you can do very much) you can change your mental state. Take few deep breaths at a slower rate...that's it...you are relaxed !
Breath is the best tool to take control over one's mind.
(Image courtesy - Tanumanasi-Wikipedia)
Simple breathing exercise for you
Deep breathing (or) Abdominal breathing (or) Diaphragmatic breathing (or) Belly breathing
Are you a smoker ?
"Cigarette is a pipe with fire at one end and a fool at the other !"
Don't get offended by this overstated quote. Many intellectuals and professionals smoke too. But they are just unaware of or perhaps ignored the following very basic fact in our respiratory system. That is,
"Lungs require oxygen but definitely not nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide !"
So kick the butt ! Breathe only oxygen !