Breathing and wellness

Breathing and wellness

Breathing is something we do without realizing it; another one of the body’s spontaneous functions that keeps us going. The respiration is a natural process and without it, we would not exist.

I love this quote: « A breath is a beginning as well as an end. Life begins with an inhale and ends with an exhale – a breath. » These words underlie the importance of proper breathing because it is a source of life and energy.

As natural and “automatic” as breathing is – to the point of forgetting about it – have you ever done this action while being intentionally aware? In fact, deliberately or not, the breath can be managed to reap optimal benefits. This simple action we repeat throughout our lives is a true ode to the essence of life and to the entire universe.

Women often feel more connected to their breath when they are carrying a child. Especially when they are about to go into labor: deep inspirations and long expirations help reduce pain by calming the body before, during and after childbirth.

At this time when every one seems to be on the run – rushing into yoga and meditation classes – we are all basically chasing after wholeness and peace of mind. So why not start by simply trying to learn how to breathe consciously?

Awareness of the breath implies being conscious of the physical process (every inhale and exhale); at the same time, try to chase away any recurring thoughts that disturb the mind. By accomplishing this, it is possible to enter the subconscious part of your mind where much is hidden.

We know that the breath is strongly connected to emotions. As stress and agitation take over, breathing simultaneously becomes sharper which feeds the negative vibes thus keeping them alive in us.

To our great benefit, there are solutions to address this kind of harmful interference. We all have an ability that gives us the power heal ourselves by reaching the ideal state of mind: the state of nirvana. How? By taking control over our breath. This is a wonderful habit that we should all adopt. It soothes away the stress that the soul and the body face everyday.

Who has never detected feelings of nervousness or relief by noticing a sudden change in the flow of their breath?

Everyone agrees to say that feeling irritated or angry is often accompanied with an increase of the breathing rate characterized by short breaths that come in gasps. Besides, the famous phrase “breathtaking” is not to be taken lightly. Some situations literally take our breath away and others give it back. Letting out a heavy sigh in relief to what we faced is also evidence of the benefits of breathing thoughtfully. Therefore, we must be aware of the signals sent by our breathing rate and do everything to manage them to let go of negative vibes.

Deep inhales and exhales will allow you to manage all sorts of feelings whether they are thoughts, emotions or physical pain; a conscious and profound breath will ease them.

It has been proven that managing your breath deliberately can have a major impact on overall wellness. Among other benefits, it helps with balance issues, gives willpower, stabilizes the mood, emotions, stress and the energy level, it clears the mind by enabling a higher level of concentration and creativity in addition to regulating the nervous system.

In depth, breathing with awareness strengthens the cardiovascular and the immune system, lowers blood pressure and regulates the level of hormones. Basically, a breath has the power to nourish us mentally and physically thanks to the profound oxygenation of the red blood cells that travel through our tissues and our organs. According to several studies, one of direct benefits of breathing deeply is the increasing level of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). A field study based on people who practice breathing and relaxation exercises about thirty minutes à day showed that their level of DHEA (also knows as the “fountain of youth” hormone) could increase by 100% (The Instinct to Heal: Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy by David Servan-Schreiber). This is incredible!

Obviously, we must not neglect any steps of the process of respiration. It is essential to be equally aware of inhales and exhales; energizing yourself before letting go of all tensions thus relieving your mind and body.

By recognizing the importance of a conscious breath, it is possible to achieve cosmic harmony; a level of dream where we feel all the frequencies of the universe.

Anyone seeking to follow the path of wisdom characterized by spirituality, wellness and understanding will value the importance of breath.

Yoga is recognized for being very healthy. One of the key elements of the practice is the undisrupted flow of the breath. Yoga is a great option to learn how to breathe consciously while following your own pace and respecting your limits.

Breathing is a true gift from heaven as it carries life. In addition to its calming qualities it can also awaken chakras and stimulate one’s spiritual growth.

Discovering the different aspects of spirituality in a state of serenity and well-being are undeniable steps to reaching the most mystical part of us. If desired, it is possible to explore specific dimensions through astral travel or other sacred experiences like acknowledging the existence of an “invisible” world.

Yogis throughout the World are aware of the benefits related to breathing consciously and have been since ancient times. They value this action and consider it to be the secret to mental, physical and emotional wholeness. This form of meditation caked “Prana Vidya” would be the key to unlocking the doors to a world of wonder!

The average person takes sixteen inspirations per minute. In a state of meditation, this number can drop to six and, believe it or not, the great yogis from India can reach a state where only one breath per minute is necessary.

Now, you must be wondering why you are reading about yoga?

Well, Indian yogis have found something amazing through the practice of breathing consciously: a basic energy called “Prana”. This would be the sum total of all the energy manifested in the universe. Among other roles it plays on the body, one of the most powerful is related to the nervous tissue along the spinal cord.

“Prana” means life force. This energy connects everything in the universe. According to the Chinese, it is the equivalent of the IQ; the Polynesians refer to it as the “mana” and the European healers, they call it the “subtle energy field”.

This valuable energy is entirely related to the breath: to maintain your “prana”, exercise your breath.

Everything is connected. Emotions influence breathing, therefore they affect vital energy! “Prana” is thus disturbed as quickly as emotions trigger a change in your breath. So managing your breath in all situations is a natural remedy. This is why the yogis call it “Prana Vidya”: a practice that has the power to heal and cure!

Take the time to breathe and realize how simple and salutary this act is.

On this note, here are two mottos that have become my philosophies of life: “We are what we eat” and “our breath is also the mirror of what we are and how we live”.

So eat and breathe consciously!


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