Breathing is important for two reasons. It is the only means to supply our bodies and its various organs with oxygen which is vital for our survival. The second function of breathing is that it is one means to get rid of waste products and toxins from the body.
Oxygen is the most vital nutrient for our bodies. It is essential for the integrity of the brain, nerves, glands and internal organs. We can do without food for weeks and without water for days, but without oxygen, we will die within a few minutes. If the brain does not get proper supply of this essential nutrient, it will result in the degradation of all vital organs in the body.
The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ. If it does not get enough, the result is mental sluggishness, negative thoughts and depression and, eventually, vision and hearing decline. Old people and those whose arteries are clogged often become senile and vague because oxygen to the brain is reduced. They get irritated very quickly.
Poor oxygen supply affects all parts of the body. The oxygen supply is reduced to all parts of the body as we get older due to poor lifestyle. Many people need reading glasses and suffer hearing decline in old age.
When an acute circulation blockage deprives the heart of oxygen, a heart attack is the result. If this occurs to the brain, the result is a stroke.
For a long time, lack of oxygen has been considered a major cause of cancer. Even as far back as 1947, work done in Germany showed that when oxygen was withdrawn, normal body cells could turn into cancer cells.
Similar research has been done with disease. It showed that lack of oxygen is a major cause of heart disease, stroke and cancer. The work done at Baylor University in the USA has shown that you can reverse arterial disease in monkeys by infusing oxygen into the diseased arteries.
Thus, oxygen is very critical to our well-being, and any effort to increase the supply of oxygen to our body and especially to the brain will pay rich dividends. Yogis realized the vital importance of an adequate oxygen supply thousands of years ago. They developed and perfected various breathing techniques. These breathing exercises are particularly important for people who have sedentary jobs and spend most of the day in offices. Their brains are oxygen starved and their bodies are just ‘getting by’. They feel tired, nervous and irritable and are not very productive. On top of that, they sleep badly at night, so they get a bad start to the next day continuing the cycle. This situation also lowers their immune system, making them susceptible to catching colds, flu and other ‘bugs’.
Q. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions:
- What is the significance of breathing?
- Why is oxygen important?
- What is the harmful effect of lack of oxygen?
- What did yogis do, when they realized the importance of oxygen? For whom it is beneficial?
- In para 3, the word which means ‘lethargic’ is __________.
- In para 8, the word which means sufficient is __________.
- In para 3, the word opposite in meaning to ‘clear/certain’ is __________.
- In para 8 the word opposite in meaning to ‘insufficient’ is __________.
- Breathing is important as it is the only means to supply our bodies and its various organs with oxygen which is important for our survival and also it is the means to get rid of waste products and toxins from the body.
- Oxygen is important because it is essential for the integrity of the brain, nerves, glands and other internal organs.
- Poor oxygen supply affects all parts of our body. When an acute circulation blockage deprives the heart of oxygen, a heart attack is the result. If this occurs to the brain, the result is a stroke.
- Yogis developed and perfected various breathing techniques. These techniques are important for the people who have sedentary jobs and who spend most of the time in offices.