The importance of proper breathing

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A good exercise is to focus on breathing with your diaphragm. Feel your whole stomach gently moving. This breathing will also be very good for the health of your body. “Proper breathing” can help reset the natural strength of the body. When we breathe with the muscles around our heart – we are using those muscles which are supposed to be recruited for emergency situations – ‘fight or flight.’ If we are always breathing in this way it is a sign, we are stressed. Breathing from the diaphragm is more conscious, relaxed and peaceful method of breathing.

If we consciously breathe, it will help to quieten the mind.

One more thing we can do is that when we breathe in feel, that we are breathing in peace and divine energy. If you breathe in properly you can feel like you are breathing through every pore of your body. Also, at the start of the exercise, try once or twice to exhale all the breath. As you do this feel like you are emptying your mind of all thoughts allowing a new clarity to enter.

This conscious breathing we can do throughout the day. See it as an opportunity to look after the body, quieten the mind and detach from the stresses created by our mind.

If we do stretches or yoga exercises, then their efficacy will be improved by good quality breathing.

A tip to help breath through the diaphragm is to put your tongue on the top of your mouth.


Question: Would you speak a little about proper breathing in meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are a beginner and want to breathe correctly, you should sit with your spinal cord erect. Now, while breathing, you have to think of purity first. When you breathe in, if you feel consciously or unconsciously that the breath is coming directly from God, from Purity itself, then the breath can be purified. When you breathe in, try to breathe in as slowly and quietly as possible, so that if somebody placed a tiny thread in front of your nose it would not move at all. And when you breathe out, try to breathe out even more slowly than when you breathed in. If possible, leave a short pause between the end of your first exhalation and the beginning of your second inhalation. If you can, hold your breath for a few seconds. But if it is difficult, do not do it. Never do anything that will harm your organs or respiratory system.

– Sri Chinmoy, [1]

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