Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing

The respiratory system is a bridge between the conscious and subconscious minds. Breathing exercises calm the mind and balance the heart, deeply purifying the nervous system. Once the nervous system and senses are harmonized, false cravings and desires diminish.

Pranic breathing delivers tremendous physiological, mental and energetic benefits. The respiratory system which is the seat of breathing, forms the gateaway of purifying the body, mind and emotions, sustaining vitality and life force energy. The breath influences the everyday activities of every cell in the body and is intimately linked with the brain’s performance, promoting vitality, perception, sharp intellect and heightened intuition. Regular practice of breathing techniques helps to maintain a dynamic flow of blood which tones the nerves, brain, spinal cord and cardiac muscle, maintaining their efficiency. Amongst the many physiological & energetic benefits of breathing we can include an improved functioning of your waste removal system, as well as the cardiovascular system. A stronger, more supple diaphragm and abdominal core and an indirect purification of negative emotions, traumas and limiting beliefs. Finally an increased capacity for generating high quality pranas.

How does it works:

The diaphragm is a disk shaped layer of muscle that bisects your chest cavity laterally. The diaphragm acts as a divider between your cardiopulmonary system and your digestive system: it is the floor for your heart and lungs and the roof for your stomach, intestines, spleen, liver, pancreas and kidneys. Due to the narrowness of the thoracic and abdominal cavities, all the internal organs are packed tightly.

When the diaphragm moves, it also moves the internal organs, stimulating their functions and providing them with a healing internal massage. In addition to that, diaphragmatic movement stimulates the flow of blood and lymph into, through and out of these organs.

Correlation to the Lymphatic system & Immunity:

Lymph, a straw-colored fluid component of the blood that represents a critical part of our immune system. It contains white cells but typically no red cells. As blood circulates throughout the body, lymph separates from the blood, seeping out through blood vessels to bathe the body’s tissues, where it picks up bacteria, waste products, toxins, even random cancerous cells. It then brings this cellular debris back to the lymph nodes, to break down this waste material and dispose of it. However the lymphatic system, unlike the circulatory system, has no pump. Blood is forced through the body by the heart, but lymph on the contrary must rely solely to muscular movement to facilitate its circulation. The arms and legs have many large muscles to move lymph. But throughout the chest, abdomen and pelvis, the only musculature available to help move the lymph fluid is the diaphragm. On those grounds it is vital to understand the tremendous healing benefits that derive from breathing.

Daily breathing practise:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing, particularly around the waist.
  • Close your eyes, keeping your back straight and relax your body.
  • Place your tongue on the upper palate to connect the front and back energy channels.
  • Breath in slowly and silently for 6 counts through the nose.
  • Restrict the inhalation in the abdominal area, making sure there is no movement in the chest area.
  • Your abdomen should push out in the front and a little on the sides, as you breath in.
  • Retain the breath for 3 counts.
  • Slowly begin a controlled exhalation for 6 counts.
  • Retain the breath for 3 counts.
  • Repeat for 3-10 cycles and relax.

Sources: “Your hands can heal you”, Stephen Co & Eric B. Robins, M.D, “The complete Yoga Tutor”, Mark Kan.