Breathing is the first thing we do on arrival in the real world. On expulsion from Mum the instinct to live kicks in and we inhale. Seems so easy right? Seems to be the most natural thing in the world. Yet so many of us forget how when we need it most.
I’m at a training program learning how to breathe. Ridiculous… I’ve been doing it since I was born. Well… apparently not.
Think of the last time you were afraid, what was your reflexive response? What about when you looked deep into the eyes of your lover? And remember the last magnificent sunset you saw, or listened to an incredibly moving piece of music?
Did you hold your breath? Did it “take your breath away”?
Holding our breath holds out our connection to life. We can go weeks without food, days without water yet I challenge any of you to go an hour without breath. I remember being so proud to be able to swim a length of the local pool underwater, and getting to the end with lungs burning, desperate to surface and bring life back in.
Today I breathed. Really breathed. Pulled oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide deep into my lungs. Then pushed to expel the dregs, the remainder, the result of the chemical transformation that magically happened deep in the alveoli of my lungs.
As I breathed, my body transformed…. released….. accessed the hidden aspects that I have ignored. I became PERTURBED. Perturbation. The greatest gift an upset can give us.
It’s easy to think that to be upset means that we can keep our make up on, tie straight, shirt tucked in. So often I meet people wanting the “neat” upset, the one that doesn’t really interfere with life, or those around them. To look for the “Quick Fix 21st Century New Age” upset robs us of a chance to move, to really change. I know when I have had the greatest challenges in my life is when I have had the greatest change.
True upset forces us to breathe deeply, to truly experience, and through that experience to give ourselves the chance to move past the old upsets and hurts. To move into our true selves we need to let go of the chains that hold us to our old stories.
It’s only by moving past the old that we can truly embrace the new.
So how to Breathe?
There are some very practical easy routes to conscious breath.
Any activity that regulates your breathing to a specific pattern/rate will give you more access to relaxation.
So many reasons. The chemical process of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange at the membrane of the alveoli in the lungs detoxifies the body. To retain all the used up energy in the body reduces the capacity for energy flow. It’s like having old oil in the car and expecting the engine to run well.
So oxygenation gives us access to Qi, or Prana or life force.
Additionally oxygenation of the body kills off the free radicals that cause dis-ease. And wrinkles!
So breathe and you get younger, fitter and more beautiful. It’s a win win win and it’s free.
It’s easy to practice breathing. Take some time tomorrow to sit, and breathe. Just 10 minutes. Consciously bring life in on the inhale and remove the old, tainted, unrequired with every exhale.
Next time you’re frightened upset or overcome with love remember this top tip… breathe. Bring that experience deep within and breathe.
The stuff of life.