“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.”— Sanskrit Proverb.
During our short stint on earth, we take approximately about half a billion breaths. Unfortunately, we fail to realize that the mind, body and breath are intricately connected and possess the capacity to influence each other. Our breathing is controlled by our thoughts, and our thoughts and physiology can in turn be influenced by our breath. Integrating consciousness and awareness with breathing can play an important role in helping to restore balance in the mind and body. In fact through our breathing, we supply our bodies and its organs with oxygen which is the most vital nutrient for our survival. The second function of breathing is that it serves as an effective means to get rid of toxic products from the body.
Yoga is an important tool to get you to focus on your breath, as it helps us to connect with the subtle energy within. When you remain focussed on your breathing even for a few minutes, consciously feeling your breath as you inhale and exhale, you become grounded in the present, free from the worries of the past and future at least for that length of time. This is why breathing consciously is said to have a soothing effect on your mind and body. In addition with conscious breathing, you engage the parasympathetic nervous system which alters the stress response in your body. Conscious breathing also results in improved function of your heart and optimum blood pressure levels.