Surprising to Westerners is the fact that good controlled breathing has a great deal
to do with all the extranormal powers exhibited by yogis and lamas of the East. How
could such a simple thing like breathing be connected to better mental powers? The
Hindus call breathing exercises pranayama, which is the control of the prana or subtle
"life" energy of your breath. Food and drink are important, but if your breath ceases,
all other manifestations of energy and movement of your body stop automatically.
When you control the motion of your lungs, you control the subtle prana. When
your life energy is controlled, every part of your body can be filled with it and bodily
control is much easier. All diseases of your body can be eliminated by controlling
and regulating your life energy, and it brings about the power of healing. If your
body is strong and healthy with an abundance of life energy, your radiating vibrations
will benefit the people around you as well. In ordinary breathing, you extract very
little energy, but when you consciously regulate your breathing, you are able to store
up in your various nerve centers and brain a greater amount of this vitalizing energy.
It makes sense, doesn't it? You're supercharging your cells with oxygen which is
better than depleting them of it.
Now sit up in a comfortable position with good posture and place your hand on
your upper abdomen to feel the motion of your diaphragm. Now forcibly exhale,
pushing your stomach in with a backward push so that your diaphragm recedes into
your thoracic cavity, expelling the air from your lungs. Follow this instantly with a
relaxation of your abdominal muscles, allowing the diaphragm to descend down to
your abdominal cavity, pulling with it your lungs. In this exercise, exhalation takes
about one fourth the time of inhalation. The exhalation process is quick and strong
while inhalation is passive and slow. Do this for 15 to 20 times twice each day, and
add a few more exhalations each week as your lungs become stronger.