Breath is Life
The most important nutrient that we take in every minute of every day is air. Breath is life. You life begins with the first breath in and ends with your last breath out. Without breath/air, you would cease to be alive in 3-4 minutes. You can live for up to 3-4 months without food and up to a week without water, but you cannot even live 5 minutes without air.
Breathing and Life Energy
In all ancient traditions, the breath and management of the breath was highly valued. Ancient yogis knew the power of breath. They created an entire science of breath called pranayama. Prana means life force; Yama means control. Their philosophy held that control of vital breath is the key to good physical health and calm, clear thinking.
Modern research also shows that by slowing down and deepening our breath shifts us from the stress response to the relaxation response. Slowing the breath down slows the heart, normalizes blood pressure, increases blood flow to the digestive system, deepens sleep, increases energy, focus, concentration, and memory
Breath as a Tool for Self Awareness
Practicing being aware of the breath for a few minutes each day is a wonderful tool for self awareness. Simply by closing your eyes and watching your breath for a few minutes will begin to bring your awareness to your inner experience. That creates balance in the body, mind and emotions.
Breathing techniques have been developed for attaining peak performance, managing stress and improving overall health. They are easy to master and have profound effects. In just minutes a day, you can feel increased vitality, strength and peace.
Conscious movement of breath can be applied to achieve a state of relaxed vitality so that optimum health is reached and maintained. The breath is one of the few body systems that is both voluntary and involuntary. We can use the training of breath as a tool to achieve heightened energy and awareness and to resolve specific problems such as lowering blood pressure, stop smoking, and lower stress.
The Natural Breath
Have you ever watched a sleeping baby? Its little tummy moves outward easily and fully as it breaths in air. This is how we all breathed as a child, fully and deeply. A full deep breath will bring in as much as 2 quarts of air with each breath, which includes energy, oxygen and other nutrients for the body.
For a minute place your hands on your belly and inhale slowly, and deeply letting your abdomen expand like a balloon. Let the abdomen fall as you exhale slowly; you are releasing old stale air. Inhale easily; feel your abdomen expand again. Press the air out as you contract, as you pull your abdomen in while exhaling. How do you feel?
This week, take 5 minutes each day to practice the Natural Breath. Somply place your hands on your abdomen and expand the belly like a balloon and then release the breath. How do you feel after breathing into the abdomen? What do you notice? Is it difficult or hard to breath deeply? Do any emotions come up? Are you wondering if you are doing it right? Does your mind get quiet or not? Take some time to reflect on or journal about your experience.
Share your experience or questions if you would like. I am here to support you.
May you enjoy the benefits of full breathing.