Everyone must breathe until their dying breath. – Regina Spektor, Hotel Song
Most people breathe incorrectly, more gracefully stated: most people take for granted for granted the power of the breath. When I started practicing meditation in 2012 I had a very different relationship with my breath. I took it for granted almost entirely. Perhaps the only time I was aware of it before I committed to the meditation and Yoga lifestyle was during athletics. When you are hustling up and down a basketball court it’s nearly impossible to ignore your breathing!
Conscious breathing has changed my life. I have learned SO MUCH about the connection between my body and my breath. I can slow down my heart rate and lower my blood pressure just be breathing more slowly and deeply. I can actually feel my muscles relaxing when I focus on my breathing.
I am also more aware of the connection between my breath and my emotions. When I am struggling with difficult emotions conscious breathing is a powerful tool that can mean the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough.
Breathing helps me clear my mind. My mind was like an unruly, untrained dog before I began practicing meditation. I believed that I was simply born with a busy mind and there was nothing I could to fix it. I would try to think my way out of problems that existed only in my mind, which lead to harmful ruminating and negative self-talk. Shifting my awareness to my breath creates space between more core self and my mind. This has been a real life-saver.
Finally, breathing brings me closer to the Divine. When I breathe in, when I inspire, I am breathing in life force energy. The breath is what connects us to all things, past, present and future. This is not true on just a spiritual level, but a physical one as well. The chemical element Argon is an inert gas, meaning it combines with nothing nor does it react with anything else. According to a fellow blogger, Dr. Robert L. Futoron,
Because argon is inert, when those hundreds of trillions of atoms are inhaled during a breath, there is no chemical reaction so it does not attach to the lung tissue, it is not absorbed into the lungs, nor does it break down. Instead, argon is spewed rapidly back into the atmosphere just as it was breathed in. Those same hundreds of trillions of Argon atoms burst right back into the room or environment where you stand where they are then breathed in by those around you. Yes by “everyone,” as are yours.
Astronomer Harlow Shapley calculates that the Argon you exhale will have spread across the country within a week, and within one year the same argon atoms you exhale will have traveled around the entire earth, some of them making there way back to you (maybe as few as 15) to be breathed again.
Shapley says that your next breath will contain 400,000 argon atoms that Ghandi breathed during his long life, argon atoms from conversations at the Last Supper, and from recitations by classical poets like Shakespeare. (full blog here)
Isn’t that amazing!?
Anyway, conscious breathing has changed my life for the better and I think it could do the same for you. Why not try it? It’s free and it works. Amen and say thankee!
Here’s a fun tool to get you started!
The xhalr will help you take healing breaths: http://www.xhalr.com/