You must realise that, in order to undertake spiritual work of any kind you must be sure that you eat and breathe harmoniously. The two processes are governed by the same laws. Just as it is bad to swallow your food without chewing it, it is bad, also, to breathe so rapidly that the air does not have time to expand your lungs and fill them right down to the bottom.
You must draw deep, slow breaths and even, from time to time, hold the air in your lungs for a few seconds before breathing out again. Why? In order to ‘chew’ it. Yes, your lungs are capable of ‘chewing’ air, just as your mouth chews food.
The air we breathe is like a mouthful of food, a mouthful of extraordinary forces and energies. If you let it out again too quickly, the lungs don’t have time to ‘cook’, ‘digest’ and assimilate it so that the whole body can benefit from what it contains. This is why so many people are tense and irritable: they don’t know how to nourish themselves with the air they breathe: they don’t ‘chew’ it; they let it out immediately.
Also, most people breathe only with the upper part of their lungs and the result is that the stale air is never driven out and replaced with pure air.
Deep breathing is a magnificent exercise which you should practise regularly, for it revives one’s energies…
A recommended deep- breathing exercise
Get into the habit of taking a few deep breaths several times a day, while placing your left hand flat on your solar plexus with the right hand over it. As you do this you should be able to feel your diaphragm expanding and contracting. The way in which you breathe affects your circulation, and it is vitally important for all the organs of your body that your circulation has the conditions it needs to function correctly.
And while we are on the subject of the diaphragm, you should know that it, too, has an important role to play in respiration. As you breathe in, the lungs expand and the diaphragm is pushed downwards, and as you breathe out, the lungs contract and the diaphragm moves up again. Certain illnesses of the digestive system or the lungs are due to a displacement or contraction of the diaphragm which is a very powerful muscle and which should always be relaxed and supple. When you are doing breathing exercises, you should also be careful about the position of the spine: I should be as straight as possible.
You will find that with regular breathing exercises your health, your emotional balance, your clarity of thought and even your will power are enhanced.Try it: when you have to lift something heavy it is far easier if you start by taking a deep breath.
And if you are upset, why not ask your lungs to help you? That is what they are there for! Breathe deeply for two or three minutes and you will find that you are quite calm again. It is normal to need help from time to time, but why do you always have to look for it on the outside when it is there, inside you!
Related posts: Rhythmic breathing- the Universal ebb and flow
To read more on Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Books: Breathing and spirituality