Slow Down Your Breathing
You would think “What is there to write about on this subject, as we do it all the time and is a fundamental aspect to life?”
Well, it is a sign of how much we have disconnected from that fundamental nature, that we now spend time reading and exploring the breath as if it was new and someone had just invented it.
Maybe we are waiting for science to do detailed studies before we believe how important it surely is. This is a pattern of some people and science becomes the only medium to release their fear and trust. As a lot of you know, working with the breath can help release any fears and create capacity for more connection to our true and healthy selves.
Many activities involve activating deep breathing. For example, the further you want to progress in a sport or activity, the more you need to learn to relax the chest and diaphragm to get maximum effect.
The breath is not just a physical movement. It has emotional, spiritual and mental aspects to it, as do all organs in the body. It is with this connection to the deeper parts of an organ that we truly start to understand the awesomeness of this life and the gift of our body to transport us around.
When we come into life we take a breath in, and as we come to the end of this life, we release and breathe out. In between we are practising in and out. The more we can relax and slow down the breathing (unless being chased by a bull) the more we preserve and create health in the cells…and the longer we can enjoy the experience of living fully.
The biggest muscle involved in the breathing mechanism is the diaphragm. This is often underused as we become accustomed to intercostal breathing, along with shoulder breathing, or panting when things are fully blocked in this mechanism.
Many of the ancient cultures know the importance of Breath. Some have detailed information and practices that pivot around breath work and the use of the body/mind to help this flow of breath.
In the current pace of life, with all its stresses and time-defined structures, we are holding on too much – unable to let go. This leaves us tired, uptight and vulnerable to breakdown. So in breath work we focus on the breathing out more than the breathing in.
This may seem strange to some, that you would focus more on one aspect than another, especially when we look to do things in balance. Because we have come so far away from balance, breathing out and learning to let go helps redress this imbalance far quicker than any other method that I have come across or practised.
We know that the mind is such a major influence on the body. In this state of life we are currently in – 2012 and the predictions from the Mayan and Hopi traditions, we are told that things will only heat up towards the end of the year with the intensity and stresses. So breath – breathing and particularly letting go – is going to be very important. Do not take it lightly and put it off. Find those spaces to practise, even when at traffic lights with that annoying stop signal.
Many years ago I was asked by a health magazine “What if you only had one tool left to use with people, what would it be?” I replied “To be able to teach the breath and healing from it, as I regard it with that much importance”.
I will be running a Specialty Spa Weekend covering the topic of breath at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in the Gold Coast in January 2012. For more details, click here.