Yoga Blog

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

Breathe To Live

Posted by Dorothy under Community Interests, Interesting Reads, Wellnessno responses

Breathing is considered a ‘life giver’ to all living beings. People always say that we ‘ eat to live’ but yogis believe that we ‘breathe to live’. So for most of you out there who are not conscious of how the respiratory system works, let me remind you again about the workings of this vital system in simple terms.

In general terms, when we inhale air into the body, oxygen from the air passes into the blood and when we exhale, carbon dioxide is being expelled from the body. Oxygen is required for energy production, therefore as a result of chemical reactions due to the production of energy, carbon dioxide is released and must be eliminated. Otherwise, it will cause the cells of our body to be poisoned.

The respiratory system consists of the:

(a) nose
(b) pharynx ( throat )
(c) larynx ( voice box )
(d) trachea ( wind pipe )
(e) Bronchi ( main airways in the chest )
(f) lungs


Nose - filters, warms and moistens inhaled air

Pharynx( Throat ), Larynx ( Voice Box ), Trachea ( Windpipe )
- passageway for air to and from the lungs

Bronchial Tubes, Bronchioles, Alveoli
- from the trachea, air goes into the right and left bonchial tubes
The bronchial tubes ( plural sense, its called bronchi: singularly its called bronchus )
lead directly into the lungs where they divide into many smaller tubes ( bronchioles )
which connect to tiny sacs called alveoli ( air sacs )
- alveoli is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between air in the lungs
and blood occurs ( diffusion / exchange of gases ). In the lungs, oxygen binds the
haemoglobin whereas carbon dioxide is released from haemoglobin into the alveoli.
Oxygen is then transported by the haemoglobin to the tissues where it is released.
Carbon dioxide from the tissue cells is bound by alveoli and is transported to the lungs to be
released out of the body by exhalation.


So voila, now you know what happens in your respiratory system when you breathe. If you prefer, you can perform an active meditation by focusing on the ‘process of respiration’ as above. Please make sure you are breathing fully into your lungs as oppose to having a short breath. Remember, the anceint yogis have a saying which goes like this:

…..the number of breath you take determines the length of your life……..

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