Most people would not quibble with the argument that you are alive if you are breathing. Of course, not all of us breathe the same, our style ranging from the shallow to the deep, from short bursts to longer sighs, using the left and sometimes the right nostril. What’s funny is that for the most part, you are not really focused on your breathing having relegated this task to the auto pilot in your brain with instructions that probably go something like “make sure I am breathing ok?” Unfortunately, for most of us, that voice in your head that left instructions was last active several years or perhaps even decades ago (I make no allegations regarding your current age) and we have not thought much about our breathing since.

Once you start your journey toward wellness, perhaps one of the biggest leaps you can make is in an understanding of and an active role in managing how you breathe. The masters talk about diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing breathing from your belly or just simply breathing actively i.e. the conscious you is regulating how your breathe at least for a part of the day.

The benefits of active breathing are many. Deep breathing improves the quantum of oxygen that enters your bloodstream. For the less active people out there, think of this as exercise using just your lungs with amazing benefits. Deep Breathing relaxes the muscles in your body and you will find deep breathing an involuntary reaction to a stressful situation and therefore must be practiced when you are not stressed. Deep breathing de-toxifies your body which is very useful for anyone who worries about cancer or toxin related diseases. Breathing deeply also massages the organs around your respiratory system including your heart and this has long term benefits. Finally breathing actively awakens your mind to notice and be aware of your body which is the start to a meditative state. So turn off your auto pilot for at least twenty minutes a day and more actively manage your breathing. Be alive and breathe!


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.