Cosmic Intelligence has given humans the means to penetrate mysteries, and breathing is one of these means. If philosophers applied themselves to the practice of conscious breathing, they would solve problems that are still only enigmas for them. The ability to think is linked to breathing. Even if the lungs do not act directly on the brain, they are an essential factor, since they contribute to the purification of the blood. And when the blood is pure, it irrigates the brain by depositing elements in it that help with mental work and, therefore, with meditation.
Breathing exercises thus have a central role to play in the life of those who are spiritual, and they should organize the use of their time in such a way that they can do these exercises each morning before breakfast. After breakfast it is not the same; the movement of the lungs is hampered, and it can even be harmful. You should always do breathing exercises on an empty stomach or four or five hours after eating.
But the best time is at sunrise, because through the breathing you can take in that precious quintessence from the air which the Indian yogis call prana. Prana is the basic energy of the cosmos, and it is at its most abundant in the morning at sunrise. In order to benefit from it we have to be attentive and focused, for with every breath of air God is also telling us, ‘Breathe, listen, and you will hear me speak.’