‘It is said that the first step to controlling your mind and all physical actions is to first control your breathing.’
Ancient breathing exercises act as a guided exercise that helps balance the body, mind, and soul. These exercises assist in helping us free our minds and heal ourselves at a spiritual level. Many of these practices and exercises are old and have been part of spiritual traditions adopted by the Yogis, the Sufis, and Zen Buddhist monks, as well as martial arts masters. The importance of breathing is to help channel internal energy and focus it upon daily actions for self-improvement.
Ancient Yoga texts suggest that subtle energy known as prana runs through our body, it is not physical energy, but it flows through our body in the form of our breathing. By controlling our breathing, we can learn to channel this vital energy. Both Western and Eastern medical practitioners believe that breathing is a crucial aspect of living a healthy life filled with the essence of vitality as it is an essential component of health.
By focusing on our breathing and maintaining a controlled process of breathing, we can achieve many health benefits, both physically and mentally. From a physical perspective, when we take deep breaths, we fill our bodies with oxygen which then rejuvenates and relaxes our muscles, helping us to feel less tense and more relaxed. From a mental perspective, deep and long breaths channel the oxygen to our minds, which can help reduce any difficulties such as stress and anxiety. By focusing on breathing exercises, our bodies and minds can change in many positive ways, improving our overall health.
In most monasteries, when monks focus on meditation, they mainly focus on their breathing, the movement of the air through the body. Along with the peace and tranquility, it helps to create a sense of clarity in the mind, which in turn allows one to think openly, and free from distractions.
Many spiritual cultures have adopted breathing exercises into their lifestyle, but each having its version. While the goals of these spiritual exercises stay the same, it is the step by step process that may be different.
In Western medicine, breathing exercises are an outside aspect that has been understudy to understand the way it works in the body through scientific terminology. The ideology of spirituality and science have been separated but can also be bridged as there is a certain connection between the spiritual concept of breathing exercises and their scientific healing properties on the body and the mind.
The spiritually open mind can only perceive a different and unique perspective once on a path to enlightenment, as a regular practice in meditation can help to broaden the mind to new horizons and allow the individuals to think with more creative freedom. This helps to increase the potential of an intellectual mentality that creates new opportunities for growth that can positively define us.
To understand the Taoist form of breathing exercises one must first dive into the spiritual mindset of the ancient Chinese religion of Taoism, the principles of duality in nature. To let go of previous thoughts and emotions that can become roadblocks. We can jump over such complications with the right meditational practice that puts us in a position that can be very enlightening to experience helping us to gain knowledge in all aspects of our daily life.