Let’s face it, without our breath – we would be dead. It the power our breathing that keeps us alive – literally. We could even say it is a magical gateway to our creativity.
Did you know, we breathe 25000 thousand times a day? Each person’s breathing pattern is very distinctive to their lifestyle with a rhythm that changes like the waves of the ocean. Just like the ocean, sometimes our breath is calm, other times it is raging and tormented. In essence, our breath captures the experience of the moment that we may be facing.
‘Breathing is the physical part of thinking and thinking is the psychological part of breathing.” – Ayurveda
So, outwardly, your physical body reflects what is going on in the subtle body. Our subtle body is in essence how we feel about ourselves.
I visited a friend and here son whilst she was on her maternity leave, and I noticed that when her son took a breath, his little tummy expanded whilst his chest hardly moved at all. Her son, hasn’t yet learnt what I call ‘stressful breathing,’ which is a learnt breathing which is based according to the fast-paced world we live in today.
What is so important about breathing effectively?
We know that when we breath in, we are breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide – right? But what a lot of people don’t know is that it is not the amount of oxygen that regulates our breathing but rather the amount of carbon dioxide we have in our body! The key point in breathing is the exhalation of the carbon dioxide, otherwise we are in effect poisoning our bodies through insufficient breathing technique. I go to a weekly yoga class where all the yoga poses incorporate deep breathing which supports the effective exhalation of the residue carbon dioxide in our bodies.
My yoga teacher who also teaches Tai chi and Qi-Gong, talks a lot about ‘prana’ or life force energy and how that links into the different yoga postures. In the Hindu Vedic tradition, breathing is an art form. ‘Prana’ means the life force and ‘Yama’ means ‘the enhancement of the breath.’ There is a depth of research and study about how the yogi’s in the past have used the breath to go into deeper states of consciousness as well as healing the body of physical ailments. These breathing exercises can be used to overcome anxiety, depression and balance physical problems.
When you learn the breathing techniques it will positively affect your actions and thoughts, but it must be done regularly and with a trained pranayama teacher. However, whenever I have any new clients come to my Healing-Feeling clinic with anxiety or depression, whether they are adults or children, I teach them a very basic breathing exercise which needs no special training. This breathing supports them to be calm, and then I show them how to visual a place where they feel safe an peaceful.. This could be a garden, beach or another place of their choice. When my clients are calm, their every thought changes the rhythm of their breath.
When we are happy breathing is rhythmic and when we are stressed breathing is irregular and interrupted. Mastering the art of breathing is a crucial step towards our self-healing.