Diseases don't just come like that- throwing themselves at our doors - uninvited!
It's often our ignorance and indiscipline that gradually lets them in.
Although nutrient deficiency and overindulgence play a pivotal role in manifesting or aggravating several health conditions, another prominent and often overlooked reason why diseases happen is our improper breathing patterns. Medical science says that ideally, for a human being, inhalation and exhalation of a single breath should be 4-seconds long each, which accounts for 15/16 breaths per minute. Unfortunately, that is seldom the case, though.
It has been observed that usually, people average between 25 - 30 breaths per minute, which, over the long term, is detrimental from the perspective of both body and mind. When in anger, the count goes as high as 35.
How incorrect breathing affects us
A lot many people are not aware of how crucial appropriate breathing is. No wonder one utilises only a tiny portion of a total potential respiratory capacity because of poor breathing habits.
The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to every part of the body, which, in turn, is used for metabolism. Since our brain cells have a rapid metabolism, they need significantly more oxygen than the other organs—and a shortage often results in a lack of mental equilibrium, focus, and emotional control. The regular practice of Pranayama is essential for maintaining a balanced metabolism and, in turn, a healthy body.
Deep-seated relationship between the breath and the mind
chale vate chalam chittam nischale nischalam bhavet
yogi sthanutvam apnoti tato vayum nirodhayet ||2||
(Hatha Yoga Pradipika 2-2.)
In Ayurvedic terminology, Vaat denotes a movement that comes with the Vayu going inside and out of the body.
As the Vayu moves, so does the mind! With the Nirodha- the cessation of movement, the racing thoughts of the mind also come to a halt. So what does a Yogi do? With the Nirodha of Vayu, they achieve the steadiness of the mind, resulting in tranquillity and bliss.
Without altering the existing pattern, one must first check their current breath count per minute. As said before, ideally, it should hover between 15 - 16. If it's more, work gradually towards bringing it down by elongating the breath- and breathing with complete awareness is the key to that!
If one wishes to have a disease-free body and composed mind, the magic mantra is to lead a life of Sanyama- self-restraint and discipline. Eating with discretion, committing to the regular Asana-Pranayama practice, and most importantly, breathing correctly and awarefully are the vital means given by our revered Yogis to achieve that. Diligent practice not only helps us gain a healthy body-mind equilibrium but also prepares us to uncover the highest truth.