Anand Ramaswamy

Watch your breath! – Easy Steps for a Joyful Life (Part 1 of Breathing Series)

Yoga & Meditation

We are all busy in our lives – so many activities to be done in a day, so many tasks to be completed in the month, and so much to be achieved in life.

Other than that, there is enough to keep us entertained, multiple channels with varied content on the internet and OTT platforms.

I recently talked to an entrepreneur friend of mine, Shivani, who has successfully established a jewelry business. She has her own range of designs, intricate and astonishingly beautiful.  She does buying, planning, designing, and many other tasks herself.

I ask her how she manages to do all this.

In a slightly tensed tone, she says “Anand, this is not as easy as it seems. I need to know so much about the base element, the gold, the diamond, the best place to procure, etc. A lot goes into it, you, see?

She rushes from one room to another, attending calls, panting on occasions, as I watch her in bewilderment. Does she even have a moment to catch a breath?

So, I stop and question her, “Hey, you know the rate of gold, you know the market demand today, the forecast etc. Can you tell me how many breaths you take in a minute?

And she freezes, in bewilderment. “I have no clue Anand. I never stopped to check. Ever!”

Most of us are like Shivani.

Look Inwards – A Little Bit.

While we’ve lived a good number of years, we have easily ignored one of the most essential signs of life – the breath.

  • How many of us have actually paused for a few moments to know the pattern of breath?
  • How many of us are aware of the number of times we inhale and exhale in a minute?

I am guessing a large percentage of us do not!

According to Indian scriptures, our breath is aligned to the energy running through the body. It’s an indicative of the wellbeing of the body and mind.

Also, in certain Vedic astrology practices, predictions are based on the breath pattern of the astrologer as the seeker comes with their questions. Such is the power behind knowing the breath!

Point being – the breath is much more powerful than we make it out to be. (Or should I say we have conveniently ignored it in our fast-paced lives!)

So, let us try to align ourselves slowly with our breath and learn to appreciate it.

How do we do it?

Here’s a small exercise:

  • Sit in a comfortable posture, keeping the back straight, spine comfortably erect, and chin parallel to the ground.
  • Set a timer for 2 minutes.
  • Close your eyes
  • Start the timer and breath normally, count your exhalations.

Repeat this practice:

  • When you are tensed, when you are excited, very happy, after you’ve taken a walk and so on.  
  • Observe the changes in the pattern and make a note of it.
  • You will, over time, also realize that watching your breath helps you calm down!

Through the next few articles, I shall be sharing some breathing techniques to get you closer to your breath, and hence, the self!

Until then, watch your breath! Live life, Live Yoga.

Wish you a very Happy International Yoga Day!

Anand Ramaswamy, Founder of We Live Yoga – Join the Movement, connect with him on [email protected]