The first and most fundamental component of any healthy, living organism - including the cell - is an adequate supply of oxygen. Here, the focus is not so much on access to oxygen but rather the quality of oxygen one receives and the methods/techniques one is accustomed to utilizing while exercising the breath. Oxygen is the number one cellular need as for without it inflammation and ultimately degeneration are sure to set in. Adequate oxygen in the body maximizes efficiency of energy by increasing blood flow to the cells, tissues, organs and muscles. It literally enlivens the spirit, invigorating and bringing the limbs to life.
On a physical, mental, and emotional level - breathing patterns tell a lot about an individual's thinking and behavioral conditions, thereby providing some insight into one's health state. If you haven't before now, try paying close attention to your breath - especially when angered, frightened, or excited. Then also take note of your breathing patterns when in a calm, relaxed, or peaceful state of rest. Our breathing influences our emotions and our emotions influence our breathing. To be cognizant of this relationship can significantly influence how we process and share information; ultimately dictating how we manage or manifest situations in present moment/real time.
Oxygen is a source of fuel and our lungs are mechanical filters or pumps that facilitate the respiratory process in our bodies. Similar to how a car engine's cylinders house the pistons which aid in the transformation of heat energy into mechanical work and vice versa, our lungs are the primary system of absorption and combustion transforming this gaseous element into a source of energy - hence oxygen is the first food.
Now, oxygen is the central component that gives way to cellular respiration. Cellular respiration is basically the process by which sugar is broken down into a chemical called Adenine Triphosphate (ATP). Thus, oxygen enters the body via the breath and is converted into Adenine Triphosphate - the chemical substance that fuels our cellular activity. Now, knowing that oxygen is food/fuel, it then becomes even more vital that we be mindful of our breathing patterns and techniques.
Consider this for example, when you take your vehicle to the gas station for fuel, you don't put gas in the oil tank, do you? Or when you get your oil changed you don't put oil in the gas tank, right? I would hope not! And so - as for man - this conversion process takes place in the stomach - which is considered the body's oven or stove and is essentially where we should be directing the oxygen in our bodies during respiration, not the lungs.