By Nizha Periaswamy

"I'm so busy today, I don't even have time to breathe!” Have you heard this statement before or uttered it yourself?

As dramatic as such a remark may sound, it is utterly impossible for a person to knowingly miss out on breathing since it is an essence of life.

However, not many of us are even of the importance of proper breathing in our daily lives, let alone practice it.

According to yoga and meditation instructor, as well as Reiki master, Malarvelidevi Krishnan, there are various breathing techniques in yoga that serve certain functions to one's health.

"You must be wondering why do we need breathing techniques, as, after all, it is inhale and exhale, right? Why is there a specific tehcnique? This is the most common question.

"Every living species in the world starts to breathe immediately after birth and this is the only routine we learned without any 'guidance'. So it is a natural process that happens," she told Astro Ulagam.

"As stated in the book 'Prana and Pranayama' by Swami Niranjananda Saraswati, there are 9 types of basic classic pranayama. They are Nadi Sodhana, Bhastrika, Kaplabathi, Sheetali or Sheetkari, Bhramari, Ujjayi, Moorccha, Surya Bheda, and Chandra Bedha.

"The effect or objective of practicing each pranayama can vary, for example, to increase or lower the body temperature. Some to stimulate your mind while others to soothe the nervous system," she added.

For instance, Nadi Sodhana helps to neutralize, Bhastrika and Kaplabathi stimulate, Bhramari and Ujjayi act as tranquilizers and relaxants, Sheetali or Sheetkari lower the body temperature, while Moorchha helps to increase body temperature.

According to Malarvelidevi further, pranayama enables a perfect respiratory system, and strengthens the muscles and nerves associated with the digestive system.

A survey has shown that pranayama techniques have reduced the stress on the heart and allows the organ to function more effectively.

The techniques also gives positive effects to the endocrine system and helps in forming a focused mind.

If you find this hard to believe, let's try this technique:

Sit down flat on the floor or settle on a comfortable position on a chair and close both your eyes. Start concentrating on your breathing. Keep reminding yourself that you are not going to entertain any other thought but your breathing.

Inhale deeply through your nostrils for about 4 seconds, and exhale through the nostrils for about the same period of time. Repeat this process 6 times. You may begin with one round, take a short 30-second break, and continue for the second and third rounds.

Done? See, it takes less than 5 minutes of your life, doesn't it, but I bet you feel calmer, more focused and energetic than before.

Great! Now you are ready to go on and rock your day.

Photo source: Shakti School of Yoga, Pixabay