Breath is one of the most important processes of our body and yet do you think about breathing? It is the first thing we do and the last event that happens in life. It is so natural and yet we so take it for granted. I did for so long that I’m now seeing the possibilities in using it to my benefit.
Back track a few years. So I was aware of my breathing, but only when I was doing Yoga or how I used it to sing or when I was running, not in how it was changing my body or how I was allowing it to change my body. Meaning, breath was only important to me when I was doing something that required a particular breathing pattern and even in saying that, I wasn’t paying attention to how it effected my body. It was used as a way to increase my speed or sing a longer note or relax into a pose, that was it. And although those things aren’t bad and that’s not to say I wasn’t using it properly, there just wasn’t any mindfulness and I was only practicing when I felt like it.
Recently I have spent some time just breathing and working on breath training and manipulation and I’m so amazed at how capable we are of changing, manipulating and controlling it and then just allowing it be normal. I’ve known we can do these things even was trained how to do this in yoga, but it didn’t really hit me that my body was struggling to breathe. To find space in the breath and in the mind. You see when you work on controlling and manipulating the breath through means of inhaling and exhaling through the nose, you slow the breath and when you control breathing into your ribs verses your belly or put focus into these spaces, you control so much in the body. Movement is so important to health, but the breath can help make those movements controlled movements, mindful movements. And does that breath help slow the nervous system or speed it up? Of course! In certain situations even in controlled breathing, I was hyperventilating, which was bring my nervous system higher and my anxiety up. But when I slowed my inhale counting and exhale counting, I slowed my nervous system and my anxiety went down.
Breath is not just something the body needs, it is to me one of the most important functions of the body. Breath can increase and decrease the nervous system, it can help with weight loss, it can help quiet the mind, it can help with meditation, it can teach the body to pull into itself when shallow and it can also give openness by inhaling fully and exhaling fully. Did you know that the breath actually can help with spots of stickiness and soreness, meaning spots that are not moving or areas in the body that are being held by tension. Breath can actually cause a release in the body that nothing else can. Something that most don’t talk about is the holding of the breath. Holding the breath can be a strategy for control, it can be important when in water, but also training for how to slow the breath and slow the nervous system or control a movement.
There is so much more that we can do with the breath and breathing. So take the time to sit and breathe and see what you notice. You might find that it is way more important than you realize.
Thank for taking the time to read my blog. Please let me know if you have questions or comments. This is only a small clip of what we can do with breath and I would love to show you more.