Sixty Million Breaths
Sixty million breaths. That’s all you get. This is what Indian yogis believe. If what they say is true, you can see how important your breathing is. If you breath short, shallow breaths, you will use those 60 million breaths much faster than if you breath deep breaths.
You may not believe that you’re limited to 60 million breaths, but like most martial artists and yogi practitioners, you probably believe your breathing is the connection between your mind and body. It is also the connection between your conscious and subconscious mind. The proper use of breathing techniques can enable you to make your mind and body move as one unit. It can also permit you to achieve the appropriate mental state to reach, train and program your subconscious mind. Through breathing techniques, your conscious and subconscious minds will become one. You can lower levels of stress. Breathing can be used as a form of health cultivation.
Needless to say, breathing is important. If you are going to derive the benefits from breathing, you must breathe properly. Most people breathe in their upper lungs most of the time. A well-trained or disciplined person breathes in their lower lungs. The best way, as you might expect, is to breathe through your lower lungs.
Traditional martial artists use an ancient saying that pertains to breathing. It states, “An average person breathes in his upper lungs; a strong individual breathes from his lower abdomen; a human who really speaks truth breathes from his feet.”
Breathing frequency is also important. It has been calculated that an average person breathes at least 16 times or more in one minute. A well-trained person, martial artist or yoga practitioner breathes about eight times per minute. It is said that a master breathes about four times in one minute. You can see how pertinent this control of breathing is to the 60 million breaths we have in our lives. The average individual will use these breaths quickly.
There are numerous types of breathing techniques. One of the best is to first breathe long and deep from your lower abdomen. Hold the breath for as long as it feels comfortable, then slowly let it out. Breathe in and out through the nose. As you inhale, feel your abdomen and back expand. On the exhale, bring your abdomen in toward your spine. Practice breathing this way as much as possible. On a daily basis, devote twenty-five percent of your awareness to your breathing. This will help you reap the benefits of proper breathing.