The philosopher and sage Patanjali considered concentration as the sixth step in the path of enlightenment. It is about the ability to control what happens inside us and can be achieved through a rigorous practice that affects the way each person breathes. For Buddhism, therefore, there is a strong relationship between breathing and concentration, the result of an effective and natural exercise able to calm the mind and focus it on an idea or an object.
Through the daily practice of certain exercises that involve the nose, mouth, and lungs, it is possible to concentrate more profoundly, effectively and for longer. In Patanjali’s yoga philosophy, the state of concentration is the first step to achieve meditative contemplation. So, if you want to know the secret of the relationship between breathing and concentration, don’t miss the following article.
The relationship between breathing and concentration
It may seem difficult to understand this link, but it exists and is very strong. In yoga, control of the respiratory process is called pranayama. By becoming aware of the moments of exhalation and inspiration, the body becomes lighter. The “fog” of the inner world, full of constant thoughts and proving dispersion, dissolves.
On the other hand, breathing and concentration are essential for achieving high levels of energy during the day. A person who is overwhelmed by the emotions of a different nature will seem tired and sad. And, as you well know, happiness and rationality rarely walk hand in hand.
That is why, first of all, you will have to deal with the relationship of the body with the mind and spirit. Breathing, not surprisingly, is precisely that privileged channel that fosters communication between body and soul. The daily practice of breathing techniques allows to free of the respiratory tract and guarantees the body a greater quantity of oxygen.
In this way, concentration is acquired on all levels, promoting a peaceful state of mind. Therefore, breathing can become a valid ally of your psychophysical well-being, a step towards tranquility, even in difficult times. Once learned and mastered, breathing and concentration techniques can be used at any time.
Learn to breathe to improve concentration
The wise say that the human soul comes and goes following the rhythm of breathing (inhalation and exhalation). Breath represents and is life itself. For yoga, through the prolonged control of this ability, the sacred vital energy that is in us, called “kundalini”, is activated.
On a physical level, deep breathing stimulates the nervous system, both parasympathetic and sympathetic. On the one hand, this implies a greater ability to relax in times of stress. On the other hand, brain functions are fully activated. Thanks to breathing and concentration techniques, the activities of the two hemispheres are balanced.
Below, we will show you a series of breathing exercises that will allow you to start mastering the technique and reach high levels of concentration. In order to obtain important results, of course, you will have to practice constantly.
Conscious breathing exercises
Deep breathing is used in yoga and all relaxation techniques. It consists of lying on your back, but you can also do it while sitting, and inhale gently through your nose. The inhaled air will have to fill the lungs from below so that the abdomen rises and the diaphragm is pushed down.
Once the abdominal cavity is full of air, you will have to make a four-second break. The air will come out of the nose slowly, following the path backward. Then the exercise provides a second pause of another four seconds. With three deep breaths, the body and mood will immediately benefit.
The exercises of breathing and concentration, in yoga, also use the alternating technique. Alternate breathing is one of the most important in this discipline. Alternate the nostrils, left and right, at each moment of inhalation and exhalation.
You will begin by completely plugging the right nostril and inhaling all the air from the left. Then, you will retain the air and exhale from the right nostril and then start again from this site. Once the body is used to exercising, you can do it by counting the time of each inspiration and exhalation. You will begin with the canonical four seconds until you reach ten.
The practice of alternate nostril breathing of pranayama is considered the perfect exercise to balance energy channels. According to this discipline, in fact, the right nostril would be connected to the most active part physically and mentally. Cleaning this channel will mean activating it and giving it more energy. On the contrary, the left fossa connects with your emotional part and its reactivation will allow you to reach a state of relaxation and calm.
Both the practice of deep breathing and that of alternate breathing lead to a state of progressive concentration. After a certain period of time, the benefits will increase and you will notice a pleasant feeling of happiness and general well-being.