Vishwaguruji: Pranayama Full Yoga Breath
The word pranayam is composed of the word pran (life energy) and vyayam (practicing). It is the exercise of vitality – the life force, life energy.
What did you do first when you were born? First you breathed and secondly you cried. That's how a little baby is born. So the first thing we have done is inhale and the last thing we will do in this life is exhale, and then we will no longer be able to inhale. It's a long breath from birth to death, with only the waves of inhaling and exhaling in between.
Breath is life, without the breath we cannot exist. Our whole body is breathing and there are techniques to train our body to receive more oxygen.
There are three different breathing phases. First, it is abdominal. Inhale from the stomach, then from the chest and then the collarbones (clavicles). Exhale from the clavicle area, then out of the chest, and then out from the stomach.
Abdominal breathing should be with long breaths. If you breathe properly with the abdomen, you will receive more oxygen. That way you will never be nervous. You will always be relaxed.
They who breathe deeply and slowly, live a long life. Some people only breathe in the chest – in particular, very tight clothing can be an obstacle to abdominal breathing. Breathing only from the chest is very unhealthy.
Animals like rabbits and dogs who breathe quickly are short-lived. Always breathe slowly and gently – like a beautiful wave on the sea. This will help you to heal many physical and mental problems.
If you have neck tension, shoulder muscle tension, back tension – it means your breathing technique is wrong. Always keep the body straight and breathe completely. Especially sit properly and straight, and breathe in the abdomen. Inhale first by expanding the abdomen and then the chest. Exhale first from the chest and then the abdomen.
Vishwaguruji Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda
Sarajevo, Bosnia, Sept. 2009