Oxygen is very important to our well-being and any effort to increase the supply of oxygen in our body, especially to the brain, will offer many benefits. Yogis understood the vital importance of adequate oxygen supply thousands of years ago. They have developed and perfected various breathing techniques. These breathing exercises are particularly important for people who have sedentary jobs and spend most of the day in offices.
Their brains are oxygen-hungry and their bodies are just “surviving.” They feel tired, nervous, irritable, and are not very productive. Also, they sleep badly at night and so the cycle continues. This situation also weakens the immune system, making them susceptible to colds, flu and other allergies.
Oxygen purifies the bloodstream. Oxygen expels waste (toxins) from the body as well as recharges the batteries of the body (the solar plexus).
The first step to Pranayama is to tune in to the rhythm of breathing and regulate it. A slow rhythm usually indicates a state of relaxation of body and mind. Irregular breathing usually means tension. In anxiety the respiration is superficial and fast; In anger, it is short and blunt (forced). Irregular breathing is also associated with neuroses and disturbed mental states. On the other hand, slow rhythmic breathing is observed to create sensations of relaxation, alpha brain waves and reduced muscle tension.