Deep Pranic Breathing Principles
Emotions affect the solar plexus chakra, which in turn affect the diaphragm, thereby affecting the breathing rhythm. When a person is angry, the movement of the solar plexus chakra becomes erratic, manifesting as erratic breathing rhythm. By regulating the breathing rhythm or by doing slow deep abdominal breathing, the movement of the solar plexus chakra is regulated and harmonized, thereby producing calmness, peace and serenity. In other words, you can control your emotion and your mind by controlling your breathing rhythm. By doing slow deep inhalation and exhalation for at least 12 cycles, the solar plexus chakra can be partially harmonized, thereby partially calming down the angry person. Slow, deep abdominal breathing can be continued until the person has completely calmed down. Patients can practice slow deep abdominal breathing three times daily to gain greater emotional control. When this is done daily for several months, the patients will show remarkable improvements. Psychologically imbalanced patients must practice slow deep abdominal breathing in order to gain control over the emotion and mind. The use of breathing exercises to calm and regulate the emotion and the mind is a common practice among yogis or spiritual aspirants. This enables the practitioners to achieve one-pointedness of the mind, serenity, and in some cases expansion of consciousness.
Basically there are two types of breathing: natural and unnatural. When you observe the way infants breathe, they expand their abdomen when inhaling, and contract when exhaling. This is called natural breathing or abdominal breathing. In school, children are taught unnatural (incorrect) breathing or chest breathing. The abdomen contracts and the chest expands while inhaling, and the abdomen expands while exhaling. Chest breathing is unnatural and incorrect for the following reasons:
- Deep chest breathing when done for about 10 minutes causes too much pranic energy to gather around the front heart chakra, resulting in pranic congestion of the heart. The practitioner feels dizzy, and discomfort on the chest area. A patient with a heart ailment will experience chest pain and a worsening of his condition. When abdominal breathing is done properly, similar side effects are not experienced. Some practitioners would even practice for more than one hour per session without experiencing any adverse effect. Instead, they would feel stronger, more energized and healthier after such practice.
- In chest breathing, less air goes into the lungs when the abdomen contracts during inhalation since the diaphragm is pushed upward, thereby reducing the space in the lungs. While in abdominal breathing, more air goes into the lungs when the abdomen expands during inhalation since the diaphragm is pushed downward, thereby increasing space in the lungs.
- As explained earlier, infants and children do abdominal breathing instinctively without being taught, but the breathing pattern changes when they are taught the incorrect way of breathing in school.