Breathing is a process that happens all day long. Here are four reasons why you should be mindful of your breathing.
1. Breath, quite simply, is life.
Life begins when you take your first breath, and life ends when you take your last breath.
In Sanskrit, the ancient Hindu language, the word “prana” refers to breath. Prana means “life force” or “life energy.”
For this reason, many yogis count life not in years but in the number of breaths they take.
2. Breath is the bridge between the body and the mind.
In order to function most efficiently as a human being, you want to create a stronger connection between the body and the mind. You can think of breath as a tool that helps you maintain that balance, that equilibrium of body and mind.
When you are aware of your breathing, you are present to yourself. This is good. This is when your mind and your body are in greatest synchronicity with one another.
3. Breath prevents anxiety.
Sometimes when you get lost in your mind, you stop breathing. This is bad. A lot of times this happens when you are working and sitting behind your computer. For that reason, I like to call this experience “email apnea.” It’s terrible for your health. It’s perhaps the single root cause of anxiety. And it kills tons of brain cells.
That’s why certain devices, such as Spire, have been specifically designed to track patterns of breathing.
4. Breath helps you meditate.
Breathing is one of the most fundamental aspects of meditation. Meditation presents us with one of the greatest opportunities to study the breath.
Breath is something that you can emphasize immediately before your meditation through deliberate exercises, and breath is something that you can use as an object of focus during your meditation.
When you breathe during meditation, always breathe through your nostrils, never your mouth, and consider counting the number of repetitions of the breath. When you inhale and exhale, count to one. When you inhale and exhale again, count to two. And after you inhale and exhale ten times, start counting from one again.
So with these four reasons in mind, just remember: Always breathe.