Breathing practices are the basis of Yoga and the link between the mind and the body. They provide a valuable means of releasing tension and reducing stress and are a strong foundation of meditation. As a matter of fact, the uniting discipline of the six limbs, expounded in the Upanishads are: (1) breath control (pranayama), (2) sensory inhibition (pratyahara), (3) meditation (dhyana), (4) concentration (dharana), (5) examination (tarka), and (6) ecstasy (samadhi).
Benefits of Breath Meditation
Through the practice of Yoga breath meditation we focus our attention inward finding integration, balance, compassion and love. Yoga is able to affect every aspect of our being through its multifarious practices which is why its appeal is largely the calm, controlled breathing and breath meditation. The goal of bringing mind, body and spirit into unity through breathing practices forms the foundation and link between the mind and the body. This provides a valuable tool for releasing tension and reducing stress and attaining peace, calm and a sense of equilibrium.
Side-effects of Breath Meditation
In breath meditation the practitioner discovers that the progressive clarity and refinements of his / her awareness are just the "side-effects" of lucidity and enlightenment of the still and focused mind.
Otherwise, breath meditation and relaxation techniques are only intended to help people with health problems – physical and mental – and better manage the physical and emotional sides of their lives. Whether the techniques are used to reduce anxiety or nausea, achieve calm during the challenges of treatment, or cancer, the control that breath meditation and relaxation bestows is great. Alternate nostril breathing (Anuloma-Viloma), breath meditation, and other relaxation techniques have only proven extremely beneficial in improving the quality of life of many people in hundreds of ways.