So often we hear that Yoga is about the breath and we wonder, what’s the big fuss? Don’t we all breath naturally anyway?
Yes, indeed we do, but sadly due to the past pace of life, we usually breathe incorrectly and in a shallow manner.
This means that instead of stretching the stomach outwards on the inhale and drawing the navel inwards on the exhale, we do the exact opposite. Not only that, but instead of using the entire capacity of our lungs to breathe, thereby breathing long and deep from the lower abdomen upwards, we commonly breathe only from the chest (shallow).
What needs to be understood is that we have a fantastic, superb vehicle, called the body which can be likened to an A class vehicle, a Ferarri maybe?
And the lungs act like the engine to this fantastic vehicle. Thus, to optimize performance, we must utilize the full capacity of the lungs. However, when we breathe fast, shallow and erratically, using only the upper portion of the chest and shoulders, we end up only using about a third capacity of this fantastic engine we have. Thus, our performance becomes affected; we may suffer from low concentration, memory problems, headaches, mental fogginess, and fatigue.
Thus, to reverse this and utilize the full capacity of the lungs, we need to learn to breath long, deep and slow.