In a way, we can say that we are burning. Yes that is true, no matter how it sounds strange. The truth is that our body is slowly burning whole of our life. For example, look at the fire. You see that the fire is coming from ignited fuel. In fact, the fire is relieving the energy captured within the fuel. During the burning process the Carbon ( C ) is joining with Oxygen ( O2 ) into the carbon-dioxide ( CO2 ).
Now, look back at your body and compare it with fire. What happens? The same thing as with fire – you are burning! All of your life you are taking O2 through your lungs, burn the C through metabolic process and exhale CO2. The only difference with the real fire is that our burning process is much slower.
By slowing down and controlling your breathing you are in situation to control your "Burning". Fast pace of life, hurry and stress are the enhancer of our burning. The controlled breathing – Pranayama – is doing opposite; it slows down your burning, it calms and relax you. After being relaxed and calmed, your body is more healthy and your mind is more clear and steady. This makes you to be in situation to control your every day’s life.
Extended and slow breathing is removing stress, it gives relief your heart and reducing your blood pressure. All this is extending your life.
Pranayama – the breathing technique – is composed of three phases. The Inhale phase is giving you the strength, energy, warmth, vitality and stamina, both to your mind and body. The Breath Holding is the second phase that opens and purifies all of our energy channels. This gives chance to life energy – prana – to charge you with energy. Exhale is the third phase that refreshes you, cleanse your body and mind, calms you, bring you in the balance.
Now try simplest among breathing techniques. Lay down or place yourself in comfortable position. Try to be in place where you will not be disturbed. Take three extended long breaths. First start with deep exhale, but do not try too push all air out too hard, just do it until you feel yourself comfortable. Then start your Inhale slowly and evenly. Focus your mind on your breath. Inhale slowly as you want, but do not enforce your self. When you feel that your are lungs completely full of air, just hold your breath. Do not try to make any pressure, just hold it approximately for the same time that took you to inhale. When you feel ready, relief your hold slowly and start with exhale slowly, approximately in the same time that took you to inhale or to hold your breath, until your lungs are empty. Again, do not push it too hard. After first breathing cycle repeat it two more times. All 3 cycles should take around 2-3 minutes, but do not try to stick to this to much, simply do it as you feel it to be the best for you.
After you finished 3 breathing cycles, return to the normal breathing and try to observe your mind and body state. After 1-2 minutes repeat 3 breathing cycles. Basically 3 x 3 cycle will take you around 8-10 minutes. Do not try too much at the beginning, simply try to explore your breathing and reactions that you feel.
This is one of simplest breathing techniques, suitable for beginners and for relaxation. There are many more exercises that are more complex with different purpose and result. Basically, all breathing techniques are manipulating with 3 phases, inhale, hold and exhale, but with different techniques.
For the beginning try the simple 3 x 3 breathing exercise, until you learn the basics of breath control. When you feel ready to explore other exercises, find those that are the most suitable for you and feel your fire.