When you consciously connect with your breathing, you are consciously connecting with your life force. Your breathing directly connects you to your inner power. When you take control of your breathing, you take control of your inner power in a general way. That’s why women in childbirth learn breathing techniques to help them control the process and dissipate pain.
Your body processes, your thoughts and emotions, all respond to changes in your breathing. Thus, you can alter your mental and emotional state by altering your breathing. Have you noticed that when you’re deep in thought, focused, concentrating intensely on something, your breathing is deep and slow? When you are anxious and excited your breathing is shallow and fast paced. When you’re shocked, frightened or extremely angry, your breathing may actually stop momentarily. If, when you’re in a state of shock, fear, anger, or anxiety, you can deliberately take control of your breathing and slow it down your mental or emotional state will start to calm down. That’s why I ask you to start your formal meditations by deliberately slowing your breathing. In this way, you’re taking control of your mind, and encouraging it to form the calm, focused, receptive state necessary to begin the meditation.