Life force. Breath.
Life force. Breath.
Breathing. We all do it without thinking, but what does it mean for our bodies? We know that in essence it’s our life force – to draw air into and expel it from the lungs – sure that’s the dictionary version but it’s so deep.
Our babies are born and the first thing the doctors listen for- is the first breath. The lungs filling, the cry that comes. Phew, the baby is breathing, it’s healthy, alive; doing what it needs to do, it’s intrinsic. We pop out from the comfy cocoon of our mother’s womb and our nervous system just kicks in, it knows what to do to guide our bodies to think, feel, our thoughts, movement, memory, and plays an essential part in what our body does without thinking, including breathing, blushing and blinking. See more here about Breath from Scientific American.
Move on a few decades, we all know that feeling when you’re getting on with things, maybe a bit hassled, a bit rushed, a bit too much on the go and you realise you’re breathing a very shallow breath? You might, if you take a second, stop-down and think, hey, I think I need to take a breath. You take one, it helps. You take another, it helps. You calm a little… it’s instinctive.
Shallow breathing, rushed breathing – isn’t good for us. Our bodies know this and give us the signs and we take a longer, deeper more nourishing breath. If we don’t? We have to stop in whatever way our body needs us to. Fainting? An episode? (Of our bodies choosing), mental issue? (Of our bodies choosing), just to get us to stop, sit down, think about it, and … breathe. The beauty of it is that our body knows best. And it’ll tell us, we just have to learn how to listen – and act. How many times have you thought… ‘Oh! No wonder I thought or felt that thing… two days ago… it all makes sense now!’
Breathwork or conscious breathing has roots in Yoga, Tai Chi, and Buddhism of course, but it also has far – far deeper roots than that. We were born doing it. It’s just the way that is. And as we age and get busy and do stuff we can lose a little of the conscious part of the process which could be helping us
If you’ve been in the position of being bedside with someone when they pass, the last breaths, the deep determined breaths, the ‘I can’t let go yet’ breaths, you’ll know what I mean. We really are animals. Our bodies are made to breathe, and without that, we can’t and will not live. Simple as that.
Whether we think about it or not, we are breathing, we simply need to – to survive. But when we take time to harness what that breathe can do for us? Wow, it can be truly life enhancing!
Breathwork, the conscious work to harness our breathe and calm ourselves, heal ourselves, improve our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, is a practice held dear by so many practices. Whether you just take a minute to focus on your own breath, five deep breaths in and out when you’re having a rough time, or a guided meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi session, just thinking about the breath entering and exiting your nose whilst relaxing in bed, it’s one of the most basic, intrinsic and natural things we can do to quickly calm and nourish ourselves. It’s not just providing us with a life force and the oxygen our body needs to work and live, it’s giving us so many things… like…
- Life (erm…no brainer)
- Boosts energy
- Increases endurance
- Helps you bounce back quickly from physical exertion
- Provides stress relief
- Helps with pollution processing
- Increases concentration
- Helps with relaxation
- Leaves you feeling more energised
- Pumps you up!
So, it’s a quick and easy way to get back in touch with your body, enhance your existence, and make life more manageable. And there are quite a few ways in which we can achieve it.
- Just sit, concentrate on your breath going in and out of your nose, the very tip of your nose. Just think about that, in, out, for as long as you like. The ‘other stuff’ seems to fall away.
- Take a yoga, tai chi or breathing class where you focus together in a group (that’s also energising, and giving when you share the experience in a safe space); enhance your natural ability to breathe by breathing in guided meditation. You’ll come out feeling energised, and your body receiving ample oxygen, happier for it too.
- Listen to a podcast or meditation, or take a ‘breathing’ class. Many yoga and other practitioners are running these, and the lovely thing is there are more online now for you to access at different times to fit in with your lifestyle.
Join local groups, or look online for others who are seeking a more mindful existence, there is harmony and enhancement in shared experiences. You’re welcome to join my Mindful Me page where like-minded individuals do just this. Mindful Me.
This all feeds into the senses as well; if you need a little help calming and settling I have my My Blend available too… there is no one quick fix for happiness and well-being but this blend is a truly beautiful way to respect your needs for calm and uplifting experience.
At the end of the day, if we can all just take a deep breath, be thankful that we can, and in a beautiful country with clean air, we are lucky to be able to do so.
Much lovey, happy breathing.