While teaching a yoga class a wise instructor informed the students about the importance of breathing and how it relates to the rest of their lives. Morihei Ueshiba once said, “Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together.” The act of breathing is much more than just taking in the oxygen, it’s a part of our life that never changes and keeps us as humans alive.
A lot can be taken from watching a new born baby breathing. Watching the baby take full deep and conscious breaths as their abdomens fill with oxygen is very relaxing and soothing. This almost hypnotic cycle of air slowly and deeply entering and exiting the body is a very natural process. But we as adults have forgotten what nature has taught us. Instead of the deep soothing breathes what we were born knowing how to do our breathing has become unconscious and shallow.
What is unconscious breathing?
We don’t have to breathe this way. Unconscious breathing is not real breathing and many consider it an ailment. This unconscious way of breathing is a learned behavior that is caused by the modern life style. The rat race world in which we live where we are constantly staring at a computer screen leads to short breathing and even major back problems. Our fast paced life leave no time for exercise and when we do often we find ourselves out of breathe.
- What is conscious breathing?
Deeply inhaling for at least 4 seconds and allowing your entire abdomen to fill with oxygen is what is known as conscious breathing. Instead of the shallow breathing that we are used to conscious breathing can be very beneficial to your health. By actively and consciously breathing we can avoid many negative health issues including heart problems, panic attacks, cramping, and poor blood flow threw out the body.
Research conducted in the year 2013 showed that by taking slow deep and conscious breaths increases the brains alpha waves which has a very calming effect on the entire body but still allowed the person to remain very alert. Due to the increased alpha waves an explosion of energy is felt as every cell in the body gets rejuvenated. This can lead to better blood pressure, less stress and better overall feelings of well beaning.
Not only doe’s conscious breathing helps your physical body it also helps your spiritual body. This can help you to achieve a more positive way of thinking which will lead to better ways of living. So as you can see being more mindful in how you breathe can lead to a better and healthier you and a much brighter future. Shunryu Suzuki couldn’t have summed up the importance of conscious breathing when he said this “When we inhale, the air comes into the inner world. When we exhale, the air goes out to the outer world…. When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing; no “I,” no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.”
This great video will provide more information on how you can incorporate conscious breathing in your life.
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