From an article entitled: Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama by Sheila Patel, M.D.
“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” ~Sanskrit proverb
Breath is essential to life. It is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we leave. In between that time, we take about half a billion breaths. What we may not realize is that the mind, body, and breath are intimately connected and can influence each other. Our breathing is influenced by our thoughts, and our thoughts and physiology can be influenced by our breath. Learning to breathe consciously and with awareness can be a valuable tool in helping to restore balance in the mind and body.
Researchers have documented the benefits of a regular practice of simple, deep breathing, which include:
Reduced anxiety and depression
Lower/stabilized blood pressure
Increased energy levels
Decreased feelings of stress and overwhelm
Breathing can help calm and slow down the emotional turbulence in the mind and can have an immediate effect on diffusing emotional energy so there is less reactivity to our emotions.