We usually take breathing for granted. But the truth is, it’s among the most powerful processes we have. Another synonymous term for breathing is to ‘inspire’, which is defined as ‘to breathe to life’ while its Hebrew translation is ‘ruach,’ which means ‘spirit’. Breathing is inspiring the body and spirit. People in India have been practicing breathing exercises called ‘pranayama’ since time immemorial. This kind of breathing exercise is designed to promote body detoxification and help improve energy, maintain good health and clear the mind.
Breathing reflects our emotions. When we feel anxious or stressed, our breathing pattern turns fast and shallow. But if we are relaxed, it becomes deep and slow. Every time we gasp for air, it sets up a series of events inside our body. If we practice breathing awareness, it can have a profound effect in transforming our health and mood.
Defining Breathing Awareness
Breathing awareness, also known as conscious breathing, is a basic type of breathing exercise. Practiced in almost all spiritual traditions, from Taoism, Hinduism, Islam and even Christianity, breathing awareness is said to provide the intimate pathway deep into ourselves. It is one of the simple breathing exercises for calming and integrating the body and mind. Being able to experience breathing consciously in the face of huge mystery of existence is among the most significant effort that you can do for your own emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
Utilizing Breathing Exercise for Body Detoxification
We can utilize breathing awareness to improve our body’s oxygenation, both in the blood and cells. Without using breathing exercises or exertion, our ‘inspiration’ are usually shallow, using only a small portion of our lungs during gas exchange. Our breath is designed as a balancing tool, allowing you to have conscious control on your emotions, having access to state of harmony and relaxation. Being aware of your breathing means having control on your mind and being able to oxygenate, nourish and detoxify the tissues and cells of your body.
Practicing Breathing Awareness
When followed daily, this breathing exercise can improve digestive function, facilitate detoxification, and improve mood, nerve conduction and general health. This breathing exercise is ideal to do before bedtime, as it will help calm the mind so one can fall asleep easily.
1. Lie down flat on bed with your knees up and the feet flat on bed.
2. When breathing in, press your pelvis on the bed. This will cause the abdomen to rise and create a slight arch on the lower back.
3. When breathing out, rock your hips towards the ceiling. This will allow your abdomen to sink while your lower back flatten on the bed.
4. Repeat the process for 10 deep breaths with your legs bent.
5. Repeat the process for 10 deep breaths with your legs straightened.
6. Relax and allow your breathing to be back to normal.
Breathing awareness has been used in ancient times as a practice for self-development. The air we inhale is a food for the spirit. Every time we breathe, we focus on every successive breath and with that, we become present and aware.