Know your breath by Nanda Kishor



Breathe In! Breathe Out!
If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance 🙂

Body of the speech:
Mr. / Ms. Toastmaster, Fellow Speech Crafters and Esteemed Guests,

(i) BREATH AWARENESS – Understanding Nostrils used to breath
The picture of the 1st day <Gesture> of my Yoga session still remains fresh in my memory.
I'd like to share my experience with all of you!

Know your breath by Nanda Kishor[ Image Source : ]

With full enthusiasm, I joined the fellow yoga students at Bihar School of Yoga and entered the room before 6am.
Mr.Anandji, the yoga trainer entered the classroom 6am sharp, wearing an orange khadi and he looked
like a swamiji at the first glance. The conversation goes like this:
Trainer: Who is your favorite actor ?
Fellow participant: My favorite actor is Tall <Gesture> & Handsome<Gesture> Amitabh Bachchanji!

Trainer: Which sport do you like ?
Me: I like Cricket<Gesture> sir!

Trainer: Who is the highest run scorer in one-day internationals?
Me: Little<Gesture> Master Sachin Tendulkar


At this point, Let me throw the same question to all of you that was asked by my Trainer. Please raise your hand <show gesture>, if you know the answer. And even before that i request all of you to clasp your hands <show gesture>. Do not release your clasped hands until instructed to do so.

Q: Now tell me,Which Nostril Are You Breathing Through, Right Now? Is it from the right nostril <gesture> or from the left nostril <gesture> or Both ?

Me: I see a lot of people sniffing <Gesture> to check which nostril they are using to breath! OR
I see a lot of you struggling to find out the answer, I observed the same kind of pin drop silence in my 1st yoga session too!! OR
We are getting a mixed reaction in which some people are breathing through left nostril, some of them are using right nostril and others both nostrils.

Let's check to double sure in which nostril you're breathing. Now please release your clasped hands<Gesture> and listen carefully<Gesture>.

If you're not sure how to identify it, let me help you out. Take a pause right at this moment and observe your breathing with the help of your hands.
Bring it to the Namaste position near your nose like this <gesture> and breathe in, breathe out normally for few times. There are very strong chances that you are breathing through just one nostril<gesture>. That is how, in fact, breathing "happens" throughout the day. You rarely use both the nostrils at the same time<gesture>.

Now can you try answering this? "Do you always breathe from Right nostril?" OR "Do you always breathe from Left nostril ?"

Why has nature given us two nostrils? Wasn't one nostril enough? And when there are two nostrils, why do we always, and naturally tend to use just one of them at any given time?

The research shows that one nostril is always more dominant than the other. For example, if your right nostril is dominant, the left side of your brain will be dominant as well.

The breath has so much importance in human existence that the ancient rishis or seers evolved a complete science around it just from studying the simple process of respiration. Thousands of years ago, the yogis in India discovered that we breathe predominantly through one nostril for about 90 minutes. Then we breathe through the other nostril for about 90 minutes. This cycle goes on throughout the day.

Let me discuss few breathing patterns now.
In fact, breathing is a process which is generally ignored<gesture>, although it is the most important function of the body.
We become aware of BREATH, only occasionally. For example
(1) When we dive into water without any air support and "we feel an urge to breathe".
(2) When we take part in physical activities like Running, Brisk Walking, Exercising, etc helps you to recognise the rate of breath – Mostly it will be fast.
(3) When you're in a deep sleep at night, you tend to take deep breathes slowly and steadily. Your mind is calm at this moment.
(4) When you're angry at someone OR in a tensed environment : You might have observed the breath rate is too high.
These scenarios help us to understand, we react to different situations and the breath pattern changes accordingly.

Now let's see how the BREATH and LIFE SPAN are linked together. Ancient yogis and rishis studied nature in great detail.
(a) They noticed that animals with a slow breath rate such as Elephants and Tortoises have long life spans. Example: average life span of Tortoises live around 150 years.
(b) However those with a fast breathing rate such as dogs and rabbits live for only a few years (approx < 20 years).
From this observation they realized the importance of SLOW BREATHING for increasing the human lifespan. A slow breathing rate keeps the heart
stronger<gesture> and better nourished and contributes to a longer life.

Breathing is therefore more than a simple physical action.
* Breathing continues twenty-four hours a day, whether one is aware of it or not. The breath is man's most valuable treasure because without it he cannot exist for few minutes.
* I read it in some Psychology website that "You can?t kill yourself by holding your breath". Please don't try it out 😉
However one can hold a breath for about 3-5 minutes and holding breath for long time can damage your brain.

(v) A Breath Story
Once Paramahamsa Niranjana Nanda Swamiji, the dean of Bihar School of Yoga, waiting for a flight at airport. At that point of time, an young lady
went near him and asked him to share one SIMPLE yoga exercise that one can do anywhere, anytime. Swamiji quickly responded "Simply observe your breath" and left the place to catch the flight.

"Simply observe your breath" is a simple yoga technique and anyone can benefit a lot from it. Ordinary breathing is a mechanical function performed by the physical body, but in yoga breathing is a process which can be manipulated and controlled. One can learn proper breathing techniques with the help of yoga / meditation trainers.

Friends, You have a choice<Gesture>. Live<Gesture> or die<Gesture>. Every breath<Gesture> is a choice. Every minute<Gesture> is a choice. To be or not to be.

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