Such a fundamental act and yet something that many people never consider. Functionally, the body’s demand for air causes inhalation followed by exhalation. The air allows for the release of energy via respiration. More here.
In some forms of meditation one is taught to site erect and breathe in through the nose and then out through the mouth, with the belly and diaphragm doing the work instead of the lungs.
In kendo this is taken a step further where one’s breathing is connected to physical movements; air being pushed out in time with footwork and strikes. Eventually, a form of “disassociated” breathing is attained with the needs of the body syncing the act of breathing with movement; thereby releasing a person to focus more intently and efficiently on their actions.
The simple act of mindful breathing, of just being aware of the sound and feel of breathing, provides one with a sense of comfort and awareness of themselves and their surroundings. Mindful breathing or meditation have been shown to reduce blood pressure and increase mental acuity.
Breathing is a gift that should be appreciated!