The gift that keeps on giving
The first thing that you do when you arrive into this world is to take an inhale, the last thing you will do before leaving your body is to release an exhale. The breath is us, we are our breath. Our breath is our energy, our life force, it is what sustains us. In yoga it is what we call Prana. So how is it that we take our breath for granted, by that I mean we pay scant attention to it? Really is it not the most amazing gift that we could ever have been given, after all it’s our breathe that keeps us in our bodies. Fun Facts: You can survive 3 days without shelter, 3 days without water and around 3 weeks without food (so long as you have water) and yet you can only survive for 3 minutes without oxygen.
There are so many ways to heal yourself, so many amazing modalities available that are continually being developed. Medicine is always advancing and is able to do great things. And yet all of this comes at a cost, a cost because we have to pay for it and potentially with some forms of medicine a physical and emotional cost. This doesn’t mean it is a bad thing, I love that we have so many choices available to us and so many options as to how we wish to journey on this planet. Yet, I do always come back to this thought that what we have available to us is the greatest and most healing tool possible to us and it comes totally for free. The breath within us does not come at a cost, it is there for us to use and to use freely which is quite frankly, pretty amazing.
Breathing is one of the simplest things in the world, it requires no effort, it is an autonomous function of the body to breath. However, it may be simple to breathe it is not necessarily easy and it is increasingly clear to me how so many people are simply not able to breathe in a way that nourishes them. I am a huge fan of the yogi Donna Farhi and in her “The Breathing Book” she says “the process of breathing is the most accurate metaphor we have for the way that we personally approach life, how we live our lives, and how we react to the inevitable changes that life brings us”. Just take a moment to contemplate what this statement means to you. How are you breathing now? Where can you feel you breath? Where is your awareness?
It could be said that most people are not aware that they are breathing poorly but that they may be aware that they are experiencing some disturbances of some kind, again as Donna Farhi says “from headaches to heart disease and a vast array of common maladies in between, breathing badly takes its secret toll”. Learning to breathe well could be the greatest gift that you could give to yourself. Not only does it allow you to feel more in control, more peaceful and more comfortable but it is an empowering step to wellness. Everyone that I work with now, I remind them all the time that the absolute priority is their breath, it is where the party is at. When we learn to breath well we learn to move away from the fight/flight state. We start to move into a place of healing and being. We allow ourselves to move away from fear and into acceptance, to move away from wanting and into gratitude, to move away from anger and into compassion, to move away from grasping and into surrender. We simply move into love. I am yet to witness anyone experience any form of negative response to breathing with awareness, after all breathing is what our body does best and the body is simply doing what it does best only with greater efficiency and greater results.
So let us move away from this
and into this
(No apologies made for the gratuitous Benedict Cumberbatch image 😉 )