Understanding Breathing For Fatigue, Sleeplessness And Pain

Breathing For Breast Cancer“By improving the quality of your breath, you can improve the quality of your life.”

Diana Ross, ERYT, CYT Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

I want to share the Benefits to Breathing correctly, and I want to introduce Prana and it’s relationship with good health.

Who has experienced a restless mind? Do you have difficulty standing still? Or do you frequently feel fatigued? Who has trouble sleeping? Who has shortness of breath? If you answered yes to any or all of the above you can understand how the breath and our relationship with life energy works so as to change these destructive patterns.

But first we need to acknowledge these things and then change them. To quote my dear Oprah “When we know better, we do better.” All these things I mentioned can go back to the way we breathe. Exaggerated chest movements, tense abdominal muscles that may restrict our breath or breathing through the mouth instead of the nostrils. These examples illustrate stress and unhealthy breathing habits.  When poor breathing habits persist outside our conscious awareness, they can magnify perception of pain, distort emotions, feed into cycles of stress and impair concentration and memory.  It is here where yoga places such emphasis on learning how to breathe correctly, consciously and deeply. The answer is quite simple “By improving the quality of your breath, you can improve the quality of your life.

When you learn how to breath deliberately, and with awareness you can foster a quiet mind, you can become energized, and you can become balanced. When you control your breathe you can transform any irregular, jerky or rapid breathing and convert it into a rhythmical, smooth and gentle breath. Let me ask this “Who spends anytime breathing consciously”? Let’s develop the connection and flow of the breath from one into the next, finding an exquisite rhythmical pace.

In yoga breathing is called – Pranayama – the “Knowledge of Life Energy.” Breathing clearly offers life; without it we cease to exist. Breathing is important. Let’s explain what prana is.  Prana – Pra – means continuous and na – means movement.   Prana in the form of energy exists every in the body and outside the body. It weakens in the body by wrong action, and increases by right action. Examples are in the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, even the company we keep.

Thought is the finest and highest action of Prana. What we call instinct or unconscious thought, is the lowest plane of action. If a mosquito stings us, our hand will strike it automatically, instinctively. This is one expression of thought. All reflex actions of the body belong to this plane of thought, the unconscious.

The conscious thought is – I reason, I judge, I think, I see the pros and cons of certain things, yet that is not all. The mind can exist on a still higher plane, the superconscious. When the mind has attained this state, which is called Samâdhi — perfect concentration, superconsciousness — it goes beyond the limits of reason, and comes face to face with facts which no instinct or reason can ever know.

The most obvious manifestation of this Prana in the human body is the motion of the lungs. If that stops, as a rule all the other manifestations of force in the body will immediately stop.  Pranayama really means controlling this motion of the lungs and this motion is associated with the breath. Not that the breath is producing prana; on the contrary prana is producing breath. This motion draws in the air by pump action. The Prana is moving the lungs, the movement of the lungs draws in the air.  So Pranayama is not breathing, but controlling that muscular power which moves the lungs. That muscular power which goes out through the nerves to the muscles and from them to the lungs, making them move in a certain manner, is the Prana, which we have to control in the practice of Pranayama.  When the Prana has become controlled, then we shall immediately find that all the other actions of the Prana in the body will slowly come under control too.  Starting with the thought waves of the mind. I will go as far and say that when we draw the breath in deeply we defuse the stress hormones, like cortisol which is produced by the adrenal gland and is released in response to stress and encourage the GABA levels to rise thus the outcome of inner calm. GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.

To sum this up:

  • The more enthusiastic or engage in life, the more prana is put into play and when less enthusiastic energy you feel lack of interest or wanting change.
  • Prana manifests itself as mental power, and can only be controlled by mental means. Again if you can control the breath the mind will also come under control.
  • Prana is intermixed with the air we breathe in. Oxygen is the carrier of this pranic energy, and negative prana is no air.
  • When we bring the breath under control (meaning we focus on the inhales and exhales) our mind will not wander. It is then the mind is brought under control. If the mind wanders so does the breath.

I highly recommend sitting in a quiet place and learning how to enjoy breathing deeply.

You will feel a shift in attitude quite soon.

Breathe on my friends.

Breathe With Purpose CD

Breathe With Purpose CD

Diana Ross ContibutorDiana Ross, E-RYT 500 founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is a restorative yoga teacher; and a survivor that cares about making a difference in your recovery process. Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products were designed to support you emotionally and physically from breast cancer surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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