Learn these words by uttering them aloud. To practise saying the words, listen to the intonations in the chants .
When chanted accurately, breathing should improve.
Ultimately, this should help improve overall respiration.
Now, there are: 24 syllables i.e. 3 lines of eight syllables each…
ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।
In a nutshell, from the explanations detailed in the above links my understanding is as follows:
Aum = OM = primordial sound. ‘Beej’ Mantra i.e. ‘Seed’, “Pranav” – i.e. most fundamental mantra.
“Bhur Bhuvah Swaha” = describe fundamental qualities of the Supreme being.
Bhu-r = Earthy | Divine | a Constant | Life itself
Bhuvah = Consciousness | Supreme Being untouched by Sorrow | Supreme Being is ‘Anant’ – limitless, boundless
Swaha = Connect with the Supreme Being to experience Bliss
Tat = He or That (third person, referring to the Supreme Being)
Savitur = Bestowed upon mankind by “Tat = Supreme Being”, is the fountain (of knowledge to distinguish right from wrong) as well as the immense ‘potential’ or ‘power’ to act, empowered by this fountain.
Varenyam = An uninhibited acceptance of the one who is worthy to lead i.e. this Supreme Being who has endowed each of us with the knowledge and has empowered us to act righteously.
Bhargo= the purity of the Supreme Being’s Light that allows each of us to see through the darkness of maya = illusion.
Devasya = Likeness (of qualities) to the Supreme Being, since each of us exist because of that being (and as an extension of him? I wonder).
Dheemahi = Focus on the purity of the Supreme Being (embodiment of virtues) i.e. meditate to remove thoughts that are anything but pure.
Dhi-yo= Allow the influence of the Supreme Being to impact one’s ‘intellect’ = ‘dhi-yo’.
Yo = Third Person ‘that’ i.e. The Supreme Being
Nah = an earnest sincere request to the Supreme Being on behalf of the entire universe and its inhabitants (a family as a whole, with everyone connected somehow) to continually endow us with that generous fountain of knowledge + potential to act righteously.
Prachodayat = a summary, culminating from the above, completing this acknowledgement of the Supreme being and the request to the common benefactor with the end goal of peace, prosperity and fundamental joy.