For many folks, the idea of going to an event to do some ‘breathing’ is as far out an idea as becoming an Olympian or a rock star … maybe even further ‘out’ than those … Most of us believe that because breathing is something we’ve been doing every day of our life, what more could we possibly need to know?
Well, it turns out, there’s quite ALOT more that we need to know … and our unconscious ignorance of our breathing can be having a more potent negative effect in our lives than we recognized. For many of us, myself included, breathing is taken for granted, unless or until, there comes a time when somehow our breathing is threatened … whether by accident or injury, illness or some other unknown factors, we are suddenly caught struggling to ‘catch our breath’ … and suddenly, unexpectedly and,definitely not delightedly … we are out of control with the one thing we absolutely NEED to stay alive … and it’s downright ‘terrifying’ … At some point in time, we all face this dilemma … how to get our breathing back to ‘normal’ … how to make it easy again … and how to stop the underground panic that threatens to surface when something triggers a change in our breathing that reminds us of that ‘awful experience’.
You see, we are largely so ignorant of our breathing process, that we don’t even know there is a difference between ‘natural’ breathing and ‘healthy’ breathing. Consider this … when you are generally sitting & relaxing at home, your breathing is much different than when you are outside exercising or doing some yard work. The breath is an incredibly sensitive, responsive system that processes information so rapidly from our nervous system’s messages, that any change in activity or internal bodily functions, immediately creates a change in the breathing pattern. Even more interesting, is how our thoughts and emotions impact our breathing, even though they are not something that we can see or touch.
What most of us never learned, is that our breathing is so incredibly designed, that it not only keeps the functionning of all the body’s cells & systems going with the vital nutrient of oxygen, it is also a vital and necessary function for the processing of ALL information that we come in contact with, each & every moment, with each & every breath. We all know that if we stop breathing, our life ends … but do we all know that subtle interferences with our body’s breathing process, can actually stay stuck in our breathing and cause a steady decrease in function on every level of our being … impairing physical functions of organs, glands & systems … impairing mental functions of cognition & memory … and impairing emotional functionning as the ability to feel restored to balance and peace, regardless of the many emotions we often experience in any given day?
Unhealthy breathing patterns are frequently an underlying cause of the disease process. In fact, Dr. Sheldon Saul Hendler, MD, PhD, & author of ‘Oxygen Breakthrough’, states
“Disease and Breathing: Breathing … in short … is the key that unlocks the whole catalog of advanced biological function and development. Is it any wonder that it is so central to every aspect of heath?
Breathing is the first place, not the last, one should look when fatigue, disease, or other evidence of disordered energy presents itself. Breathing is truly the body’s most basic communication system.”
Perhaps it is because our breathing is ‘right under our nose’ that is so often overlooked as having any positive impact on our health & well being. Being human, we have a tendency to overlook those things that are most familiar, without realizing how important those things might be. Yet, because breathing is so familiar, and so repetitive, it has the potential to create maximal change with even minimal efforts to improve its function. Remember, anything that we do over and over again, we are bound to get better at … unless we don’t take the time to investigate ‘how to’ become more efficient & effective at what we’re doing. Also, anything we do over and over again, increases it’s power in our lives … for better … or for worse …
Aside from the obvious gains with developing healthier breathing, such as increased physical energy, greater mental clarity, concentration & memory, there is another less understood effect breathing has on our psyche … the ability to recognize & process emotions and the accessing of our intrinsic spiritual nature. These are the subtler functions of the breath, yet no less significant to our overall wellness, that make our experience as humans unique and add to our quality and value of the lives we are living.
It seems it has taken us humans a long time to recognize the value & importance of our emotions as part of our guidance system for life. Even more difficult for us, has been learning how to allow these emotions and learn to experience them safely … for ourselves and the others we co-exist with. The patterns of suppression & repression of emotions create patterns of imbalance and distort the natural desire for harmony in the bodymind. The simplest and most effective way to undo these patterns, which exist in the body, not just the mind … is to engage the breathing in such a way as to allow the natural, organic (in the true sense of the word) flow of energy to unwind and restore all to its most optimal function. Here is where knowing ‘how’ to breathe becomes vitally important.
Learning about ‘healthy breathing’ is one of the most potent, powerful investments in yourself and the health of your whole body, mind, heart & soul that you can ever make. No matter what you experience in this body, in this life, your Breath is there with you … every ‘breath’ of the way … To be able to be wholly open with every breath you breathe … to dissolve the negative mental-emotional patterns of energy that inhibit your breath and are the underlying factors causing the epidemic of shallow breathing that most of us are caught in every day, is only a fraction of the immense benefits that a commitment to daily breathing practice can bring … Breathing is the one thing that can truly change your life for the best – over and over and over again. It is the one thing that has impact in every aspect of your life, in every experience of your life.
When you get curious enough to learn more about your breathing, you will embark on a grand adventure that will bring you into the aliveness, connection and true magic that Life has to offer you … You will embark on the ride of your life … and wonder what ever took you so long to discover the hidden power in your every breath.
So … let’s get together … and breathe … in honour of the magic and mystery of the Breath of Life!