As long as we live, we must breathe. Because breathing is too autonomous, it is the spontaneous function of the human body, which leads us to often ignore its existence. Even if the body has problems for a long time, we will not think that breathing is “acting as a demon”.
Some people often feel chest tightness and go to the hospital to check their lungs and heart with various instruments. What’s more, they do not have any problems. But they are likely to be insufficiently aspirated by their respiratory muscles and unable to expand their chest. Some people will be inexplicable and feel that the body is not nameless and painful, and the various treatments are not appropriate. Finally, the breathing state is adjusted, and the pain is gone. When exercising, we should also follow the guidance of breathing. In the same asana sequence, the movements of people who breathe smoothly will be like flowing water. The yoga movements of people who breathe with problems will not be tight, awkward and Catonian. Many difficult Yoga actions need to open the inner space of the body, and breathing is just an important factor in determining the inner space of the body.
In addition to these inexplicable physical pain and yoga practice and breathing, scientific research also shows that the wrong way of breathing can affect people’s appearance, memory and endocrine problems. In this era of looking at the face, changing the breathing mode is comparable to the change of face value, whether it’s just a heartbeat.
One of the eight branches of yoga is called Pranayama, which helps our practice to a deeper level through the control of breath. I believe you know that “Yoga without breath is radio gymnastics”.
Why should we control breathing? Of course, it’s not so “obedient” to breathe completely autonomously. Like human beings, breathing can not always be in a high efficiency state, it will be “tired” and “lazy”, and the respiratory efficiency of the respiratory system in different states is naturally different. For example, when we exercise and sleep, our breathing state must be different from each other. The human body needs to cooperate with the corresponding breathing mode in different states. On the contrary, different breathing modes determine the human body’s function, exercise efficiency, health status, etc., so we need a well circulating breathing system to master the ability to control breathing.
Step1: conscious breath
Realize that breath is the existence of all things that need to be “seen”, so is breath. Learn to start to observe your breath, feel its length, detect whether it is interrupted, whether it is smooth and even, whether the length of inhale and exhale is different. In this step, you don’t need any control, just observe your breathing state as a spectator. When you “see” it establishes a connection with it, just observe the breath, and your heart will calm down.
Step2 ：Muscle release and strengthening
As we said before, the most important respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, while the auxiliary respiratory muscles include sternocleidomastoid muscle, scalenus muscle, pectoralis major muscle, pectoralis minor muscle, anterior serratus muscle, intercostal muscle, etc. Most of the time, the diaphragm will be “lazy” and let the auxiliary muscle to work instead of it, causing the diaphragm to become more and more weak and the auxiliary muscle to become stiff. If it continues to deteriorate, it will be found that breathing becomes more and more difficult. Therefore, we need to strengthen the strength of the diaphragm through practice and release the surrounding auxiliary muscle groups.