HEALTH AND DEEP BREATHING
By His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati
This article is an extract from the book Practice of Nature Cures, authored by His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati and first published in 1952. The electronic publication of this article on this webpage is with the blessings and kind permission from The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh
HEALTH TIPS > HEALTH AND DEEP BREATHING
Deep breathing exercises are intended especially to develop greater lung capacity and to assist in forming the habit of breathing deeply and properly at all times.
The respiratory organs are developed nicely through deep breathing. It puts in extra oxygen into the blood and, therefore, secures richer tonic for the blood. This means an offer of richer materials to the tissues to consume.
The whole work of metabolism ultimately depends upon the oxygen you breathe into the lungs. The more deeply and properly you breathe, the better is the oxygen supply, the better is the body able to carry on its work and the better is your health, as a direct consequence.
Deep breathing brings into the lungs a greater volume of air that is required to dilute the carbon-dioxide produced in the body during the time.
If you want to develop the biceps muscles, it has to be exercised. Even so, if the respiratory organs have to be developed, they have to be exercised. Deep breathing is one of the most useful and convenient exercises for the respiratory organs.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Sit on any comfortable pose. Draw in all the breath you can through the nose. Allow the expansion to commence in the abdomen and then gradually ascend to the chest. After you have drawn all the breath, you can hold it for ten seconds. Gradually increase the period of retention to one, two or three minutes. Then exhale very, very slowly. When you retain the breath, repeat OM mentally with Bhav and meaning. Inhale the breath as comfortably as you can; retain it as comfortably as you can. Repeat this 10 or 20 times.
The above deep breathing can also be practiced in the lying posture in bed.
Stand erect. Put the hands on the hips. Inhale slowly and deeply. Take a full, complete breath. Raise the shoulders as high as possible. Then drop the shoulders as low as possible. Exhale slowly. Repeat this 10 or 20 times according to your strength and capacity.
His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati, served as Dr. Kuppuswamy in the rural rubber estates in Malaya between 1913 to 1922 prior to his monastic calling, bringing not only cures for ailment but also unsurpassed love and attention to the sick and needy.
His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati is the Spiritual Guru and Guide of His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati, who founded SivaSanta Medical Services in 1981 as a charitable project of The Temple of Fine Arts. SivaSanta Medical Services took on the name to institutionalize the wisdom and contribution of her founder, His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati and his Master, His Holiness Swami Sivananda Saraswati.