Have you thought of your breath today?
Probably not, unless reminded by your smart watch to breathe! We take our breath for granted. Breath is a phenomenon, the presence of which gives us the status of being alive. The rhythm of breath starts from when we are born, and goes on till the Last breath. The main and the primary purpose of breathing is to supply the body with oxygen, and to remove excess carbon dioxide from the body. Oxygen is needed to stay alive, help us heal, repair and regenerate the cells of our body.
Breath or Prana (energy source), has the power of bringing us to the beautiful bliss of mindfulness. Lungs are the only internal organs that we have some control over. Breath is a bridge connecting our life to consciousness, which unites our body to the thoughts. It is a way we can connect ourselves with this powerful universe that we live in. Breath helps to balance the energy flow through our body and realign our chakras (energy centers) when we get out of balance.
Stress in our lives has made us to stop and shallow breathe. When we are busy we say “I did not get a moment to breathe or catch my breath”. Let me ask you to make a fist…make it tight…tighter… What are you doing with your breath right now? Probably holding it. Right? This is a natural response of the body to stop breathing when we are in a stress response also called a fight or flight response. When we make a fist, our brain gets a signal that we are stressed, maybe getting ready to punch someone and it sends a signal to our lungs to stop breathing till the action is done. When the muscles in our body become tight, or go in spasm whether subconsciously or consciously, like making a fist, the diaphragm contracts also, and we hold our breath. The reverse of this is also true. When we take a deep breath, the muscles in our body relax and we get into a relaxation mode.
How to breathe:
A good diaphragmatic or an abdominal breath is inhalation through the nostrils, abdomen expanding out, which pulls the diaphragm down to open up the space for the lungs to fill up with oxygenated air. With exhalation, the abdomen goes back in, pushing the diaphragm to move up, and get the air out of the lungs via the nostrils.
Let us relearn how to breathe. Imagine a little baby’s plump tummy moving up and down with every breath. You can place your hands on the lower abdomen to feel this abdominal breath. This exercise is just to get the mechanics right.
Once we become aware of a good normal breath, then, we focus on the in- breath and all the joy it can bring to us. Now focus on the outbreath and feel the bliss of being alive. Take a deep breath in…..pause….breathe out slowwww….pause. Breathing in, feel the cool air entering the nostrils and breathing out feel the warm air on your lips. Breathe in feeling calm and breathe out, be at ease. Breathe in with a gentle inner smile and breathe out your tensions and worries.
When we move from mindfulness towards meditation, we lose conscious control over our breath. Once the energy starts flowing in the right direction and our energy becomes one with the universe, then it should feel smooth, like all the rivers run, like birds gliding in the high blue skies. Clouds or thoughts can come, but we can use our outbreath to let them go, without creating turbulence.
With every breath you take,
Breathe in happiness of the Universe,
Inhale the joy of this world,
Feel the centuries of love inside you…..