“The only mistake in life is the lesson not learned.” Albert Einstein
In my experience, too many people are affected by breathing because they are either not breathing fully, or holding their breath, or breathing incorrectly.
Most of us squeeze our bellies in when we inhale and push our bellies out when we exhale, keeping all the air in the upper chest area. This is incorrect. The reason we do this is because subconsciously we feel we only breathe with our lungs, which are located in the chest.
The truth is the diaphragm is the main breathing muscle. This muscle when used correctly performs all the breathing and helps our lungs fill to capacity. Breathing correctly means being mindful that your diaphragm moves down and out when you inhale, in and up when you exhale.
Breathing affects our focus, clarity, health, and our temperament. If you aren’t breathing correctly, you aren’t allowing enough oxygen in your body. Essentially depriving our bodies of what it needs most to survive and depriving our minds of peace.
At the same time, breathing doesn’t just keep us alive, it teaches us beautiful lessons we can carry into our daily lives.
1. Natural Detox.
Our lungs take in oxygen from the air and remove carbon dioxide from our bodies. This exchange of gases is cleansing our bodies. If we don’t bring enough oxygen into our bodies the carbon dioxide pools in our blood and causes improper function of organs. So every breath is teaching our bodies to detox itself.
Only when we can fully give all of ourselves, can we truly receive.
When we cleanse the carbon dioxide out of our bodies we give it to the world. Plants and organisms use it as their main source of survival. When we release every last bit of breath, we are truly learning to let go and give back to the earth.
Accepting fully without judgment or criticism allows our self to feel complete.
Every time we inhale, we are accepting the oxygen created as a by-product of plant synthesis. Our entire survival is based on this one gas emitted from the plants around us. When we fill our lungs to capacity, we are fully and completely accepting every bit of oxygen into our bodies.
Trust can only be felt. Try it. Take a large inhale. Bringing your belly down and out. Expanding your chest and raising your collarbones. Then exhale completely, Bringing your belly in and up and expelling every last bit of breath. You almost feel like you can’t breath because you have expelled all the air. Keep the air away and hold your breath for a count of 4 seconds.
You can do this even if it’s hard because you trust that in the next moment, you will choose to inhale and your lungs will be full again. This is the trust between humans and the universe.
Do you have tightness somewhere in your body? Well sit in a position that will stretch that area. Try the pigeon pose, for someone who has tight hips. The pose or your stretch may bother you initially, and be uncomfortable.
Now focus on your breathing, inhale allowing air into the tight area. Exhale all stagnant energy from that area. Keep focusing on releasing the tightness through your breath. After a few breaths something magical happens. Your tightness releases or the stretch is way more tolerable. Magic.
6. Love Your Body.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn
Oxygen is our survival. By breathing we keep our organs and systems functioning properly, so we can keep living. Every time we breathe, we are showing care and love for our bodies.
7. Internal Massage.
Breathing allows our blood to circulate and supply every cell of our bodies. When our bodies feel the blood flow through our muscles and joints, it gets a whirlpool like massage; a natural massage to our internal organs. And who doesn’t love a massage?
8. Proper Posture.
Just mentioning the word POSTURE to people has them sitting straighter, now tie breathing into that and you have the shoulders going back.
A natural and automatic reflex to proper breathing is proper body mechanics. Your body naturally has to be in good alignment and posture to create more space in your heart center and expansion of your chest to allow more air in.
There is a balance of good posture and allowing more air in. The balance of giving away carbon dioxide and taking in oxygen. A balance between detox and massage and loving our bodies. This balance creates life within us.
The simple act of breathing, can teach us so much about life. Be apart of it. Take a proper deep breath and accept this beautiful gift that breathing gives.