Breathe Slowly, Deeply
Your life begins with an inhalation and ends with an exhalation. Throughout your life, the breathing cycle continues, night and day, through all your ups and downs. It would seem as though your breath is on auto-pilot, since it does not require your constant attention to continue breathing. However, neither the speed nor the depth of your breath remains constant.
If you were to look back on your life, and closely examine your breath during the times of great peace and joy, and also the times of fear and anxiety, you would notice a remarkable correlation between your breath and your mood. Indeed, the best moments in life are usually the same moments that your breath is slow and deep. Short, shallow breaths may keep you alive, but they produce more angst than relaxation.
There is some great science behind this phenomenon: the deeper your breath, the more completely you are able to oxegenate and detoxify your body and your mind.
An integral part of the lotus lifestyle is to breathe deeply and slowly, and as consistently as is reasonably possible throughout your life. I also highly recommend breathing the cleanest air possible. Clean air is charged with pure life force energy called prana. This is your number one nutrient, above water and way above food. If you attempt to breathe some dirty, toxic, smoky air, your lungs will send a “panic” signal to the brain, ordering you to shorten your breath to minimize the damage. But neither your brain nor your lungs would like for you to continue taking shallow breaths of dirty air. The idea is to remove yourself from the contaminated area as soon as possible, and resume breathing slowly and deeply.