We all know that breathing is essential to life – it’s not called “The Breath of Life” for nothing – life begins in the very moment we take our first breath and ends precisely when we exhale our last. You can go months without food, days without water, and only minutes without breath, for breath is the foundation of life on this planet. More than any other vitamin or nutrient, oxygen, which we get primarily through breathing, is the source of our physical and spiritual nourishment. The ancient Rishis, Mystics and Swamis knew and understood this fact. Shaolin monks, yoga practitioners and special forces soldiers all share awareness of the importance of the breath, using variations of breathing techniques to improve health, bring focus to the mind, control their physical responses and improve performance when under pressure.
Breathing affects every system in the human body – it oxygenates the body, revilatizing our organs, cells and tissues. Breathing fuels the body’s energy production, improves our ability to focus and concentrate, eliminates toxins from our bodies, strengthens our muscles and the immune system, improves digestion and bowel function, reduces tension, inflammation, stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure and even aids in weight loss. Conversely, not breathing correctly can cause problems for every system in our body – including the immune system, circulatory system, endocrine system and nervous system. Improper breathing has been known to produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, mental fog, dizziness, anxiety, panic attacks, chest pain, digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain.