The Role of Breath

There are countless functions that breathing supports in our body and keeping that rhythm going and oxygen flowing should be the top priority for everyone.

Often, the very first thing you are given when facing a serious health crisis is additional oxygen because we know how beneficial it is to any function of the body.  Especially when we have to heal.

One of the functions of conscious breathing is to metabolize emotions.  It seems that breath is to emotions what our digestive tract is to food. Whatever we feel keeps us emotionally stuck in one way of being or another will start to transform when we feel into our breath and get it flowing.

If you keep your breath flowing throughout your day, by frequently taking a moment to breathe into the situation you will find yourself in, you will notice your entire life starts to flow more.

The best way to do that is not to exclude anything in your awareness and open yourself to the complete feeling of your life at that moment.  Everything is allowed. Emotions, thoughts, physical sensations, stress, tension, joy, noise, other people around you, lingering decisions to be made, and so on.  You invite all of it in and breathe through it.

This is the way to keep your life in flow, and it feels amazing.

IMPORTANT

Breath is very powerful. Changing the way you breathe has an immediate effect on you.  While there is really no danger associated with conscious breathing, it is something that has to be learned and practiced before you become really comfortable with it.  Essentially, you learn how to regulate the energy flow in your system by using your breath.

In the beginning, one can become dizzy, so it is best to be sitting down and not operating any kind of machinery or driving a car or motorcycle.

The more you practice the better you get to know your breath and the better you will know what works for you.

Start slowly with any of the exercises and remember to take breaks.  Do a lot of observing during those breaks.  When you feel a definite impact, take another few minutes to feel into it.

Access to Consciousness: You are able to control or forget

Have you noticed that breath is a function of your body that you are completely able to forget about, and yet you have almost complete control over?

Can you think of any other function that is the same?

This shows you that breath is like a double door between the conscious and unconscious you.  We all use our breath to move experiences from conscious to unconscious when we hold our breath in stressful situations, for the purpose of being able to keep functioning while we experiencing distress.

But we can also use it to shift experiences that got trapped within, and that way release stress, handle all kinds of pain, and even overcome trauma.

Scientists have puzzled with the fact that humans can consciously control their breath. Research shows that only very few animals can do it and only in a limited way.

But we have total control over it and yet forget about it most of the time.

Breathing consciously is the first step to living consciously and deliberately.

Why breathe consciously?

Because it gives us access to our inner world and allows us to become more emotionally free and resourceful.  But that’s not where it stops.

Have you considered this?

        • How long can you live without food?
        • How long can you live without water?
        • How long can you live without breath?

It’s about 3 weeks – 3 days – 3 minutes.

These are essential nutrition cycles that every human must fulfill in order to stay alive and thrive.  Of course, there is much more to this story, but you get my point.

We all know that a healthy diet makes a huge difference in our health and our outlook on life and that it is equally important for good health to drink enough clean water.

Can you see how changing your breathing habits could have a positive, profound, and often immediate effect on your well-being?

Conscious breathing makes us healthy and happy.


The Mystery of Breath

It opens you to perceive your own breath as a mystery in your connection to life itself.   As long as you perceive it as a mystery, you stay open to discover the subtleties of your own breath.

I deeply believe that there is no wrong way to breathe.  If something doesn’t feel right, you will quickly become aware of that and adjust your breathing which is what conscious breathing is all about.  It opens the door for your own breath to become your greatest teacher of conscious breathing.

I want to encourage you to have a vibrant relationship with your breath and experience it much like a musical instrument.  Just like a teacher cannot transfer their ability to the student, but only help the student to practice better, I encourage you to have confidence in your own breath and that the practice of conscious breathing will teach you more than anybody else can ever show you.

What is required, is for you to forget (at least temporarily), everything you have learned about breathing and start making the sensation of breathing your friend on this journey of discovery.

 EXERCISE

Gently move your attention to your breath and notice that all you can really perceive is the mysterious flow between the inner and outer world.  No effort needed, no changing your breath is needed… just let it flow.

Then ask yourself: Is there anything that connects my inner world to my outer world as my breath does?

Care to share what you experience when you do that?  I would love to hear from you.  Please contact me by clicking here or comment at the end of the page…

The Overlay of Breath and Consciousness

With practice, you will realize that you are able to maintain that awareness of the flowing breath while doing pretty much anything.  You are able to ‘overlay’ the sense of breathing for anything in your awareness.

There is no belief needed to see that we all have an outer and an inner world.  Everybody knows that.  But somehow we are taught that there are only 4 dimensions. Up/down, left/right and front and back, and the ticking of time that make up our universe.  Whatever happened to inner and outer? How could we ever exclude that dimension considering that we never live a moment without it?

When you overlay the sense of breathing over the experiences you have, you realize more and more that by doing so, it reveals the inside and the outside of that experience through the connecting flow of the breath.

Breath connects our inner world with our outer world and our outer world with our inner world.  Through practice, you will discover the tremendous power of healing in this simple and profound praxis.

EXERCISE

Look at an object (like a tree) and see if you can experience the overlay of breathing, but keep going and see what happens when you stay with it.

Now do the same on the inside by focusing on a body part.  It’s really easy when it’s close to your breathing, like your heart, but it works just as well when focusing on a knee, or a shoulder.

Now use the same practice when you experience some pain, emotional challenge, or anything that causes you tension or stress.

Care to share what you experience when you do that?  I would love to hear from you.  Please contact me by clicking here or comment at the end of the page…

Don’t change the position

I have worked with hundreds of groups in countless situations and thousands of individuals and I’ve seen this over and over again.  As soon as I say ‘let’s take a few breaths together’, everybody starts to change their position.  In general people tend to sit up, straighten their spine, uncross their legs, and put their feet on the ground and any number of other moves to get ready to breathe together.

As much as I appreciate the attempt to put yourself in a better position for conscious breathing, I also realized that over time it makes it harder for people to perceive breath as the intimate friend that it is, in ANY situation, and in ANY position.

When we get ourselves ready for some conscious breathing we also say to ourselves in a subtle way that this is something outside of our day-to-day, moment-to-moment reality, while in actuality our breath is with us no matter what position we find ourselves in.

Of course, there might be a constriction in your breathing because you are positioned a certain way, but that constriction is what’s going on right now, so how about breathing into that?

How about eliminating all ideas that you have to be in a certain position to be able to take a few conscious breaths.  Can you see how this would equip you better to use your breath in ANY situation?

Considering that the first level of conscious breathing is simply to watch your breath, it shows how much easier it would be if you eliminate the obstacle of having to sit in the ‘right position’.

This is useful in challenging situations such as a team meeting in which everybody would feel a little weird if you changed position in order to take a few breaths for the purpose of relieving tension.  But with a little practice, you can do that without anyone noticing.

Another profound impact from not changing your position is that you will feel your current state more clearly, you will feel more deeply what is actually going on within you, which is what conscious breathing is really all about.

You will start to breathe into all kinds of positions you find yourself in, and that way become aware of places in your body you would never feel if you always took the same position when breathing consciously.

The Inhale

The InhaleThink about this.  The very first independent action you take as soon as you are born in an inhale of breath.  Nothing comes before that.  It’s not just breathing that’s the first thing, it’s the Inhale!

If you don’t take that first inhale you will not live. You HAVE to take that first inhale, right?

And since we only have the present moment, and our breath is a prime reminder of that, every inhale, is a repetition of the first inhale.

With every inhale you are saying. I still want to be here, at this moment… and I want to participate in life…

Can you confirm that from your own understanding?

Once you realize this simple aspect of the inhale, it can open the door to a world that so many of us have only very limited access to.  The landscape of our inner world and the nature of our energy system.

How so? Because you have the option in any second of your life to take an inhale that doesn’t just keep you here, but expresses and is a reflection of the quality of life you want to live.

Make your inhales a series of conscious, active, deliberate, full, and joyous breaths and watch what happens to your state of being.

 

EXERCISE

It is important to be in a safe position. When you sit, you can also fully relax. So, while you are sitting take a deep inhale through the nose or mouth, then simply let it go and exhale, like a sigh. Do that 3 times and just relax and watch what happens

As you gradually increase your numbers the more comfortable you become.

Care to share what you experience when you do that?  I would love to hear from you.  Please contact me by clicking here or comment at the end of the page…

The Exhale

…and the very last thing you do before you die is Exhale!

With that exhale, everything goes, nothing can be held onto.

But in life, we behave as if we could hold on as if we could keep things the same by rigidly holding on.

We also hold on to feelings that are uncomfortable to look at since we often don’t really know what else to do.

Everything you are holding on to is stored at the end of your exhale.  Learn to let go of your exhale and gradually you will relax more fully.

Nothing has to be accomplished here.  It’s all happening by itself while we are watching, learning, realizing.

So we can learn to let go long before our last breath and travel lighter.

And when you have let go of enough, you start feeling something more in the foreground that was always there, almost unnoticed.  The feeling of being connected to something bigger, and also a sense of oneness with everything.

 

EXERCISE

After you take that inhale which is active, deliberate and willful, let go of your exhale as much as you comfortably can. Start watching your exhale and notice how much you are holding it. Be nice to yourself and take a breath when you notice it.

Care to share what you experience when you do that?  I would love to hear from you.  Please contact me by clicking here or comment at the end of the page…

Connect the Inhale to the Exhale 

Only humans make a break between exhale and inhale. Only humans hold their breath, especially when in stressful situations or when experiencing a difficult emotional state. Animals keep the breath going in a continuous flow and when stressed they increase their breathing and make it more rhythmical – if you have a cat or a dog you can easily observe that, it’s a good exercise that gets you deeper in touch with your friend from the animal world.

Humans stop their breathing because they are focused on their mental process rather than of the felt experience of the present moment. When we concentrate i.e. because we have to solve a problem of some kind we tend to slow down our breath or habitually hold it and only breathe when the absolute need arises. That way we don’t access the creative flow of life that’s available to us through breathing and the energy that it connects us to that flows in the now.

EXERCISE

Give yourself a  little session: simply connect the exhale to the inhale in a continuous flow and keep doing it for 5 to 15 minutes. Take it easy! You don’t have to breathe deeply or fully – a sweet natural flow will do. Soon you will feel all kinds of sensations that come with a more activated system. Not all of these sensations will be pleasant because you are leaving the world on the mind behind and drop into the world of felt sensations and feelings of the energybody – the part of you that you access through feeling vibrations, tingling, waves… That may be new to you and will also wash up old emotions that live uncompleted in your system.

Don’t get discouraged and don’t push yourself. If you become curious and want to go deeper please get in touch with me by clicking here.

Get Into Rhythm

Breathing in RhythmWhat does that mean? Get your breath into a rhythm?

Did you ever fall in step with somebody when you were walking together?

Did you feel a sense of connectedness?

Rhythm is another gift from nature that is infinitely deep in its power.

One of the well-known effects of rhythm is its calming ability.  We know from rocking a baby that the baby will calm down and even fall asleep.  People do it all over the planet.  The predictability of the rhythm calms us down and gives us a great sense of comfort.

You can get yourself into a rhythm by synchronizing your breath with your steps during walking.  Inhale on the left, exhale on the right.  Or exhale when your foot lands and inhale when your foot lifts.  Experiment and you will see that you fly along the path and the whole walk becomes an experience of merging into nature.

What you find is that no tension can stay for long when you start consciously observing the inner rhythm of your own breath.

With a little practice, you will realize that you opened a door that leads to the landscape of your inner world.

EXERCISE

Using your nose take a deep breath in and let it go all the way to the end.

Then take a shallow inhale and let that go.  Repeat until you have this small rhythm running at the end of your exhale.  Make it big enough so that you don’t feel any shortness of breath and find some pleasant speed in the rhythm.  Do you notice that your whole system starts relaxing from the inside out?

Care to share what you experience when you do that?  I would love to hear from you.  Please contact me by clicking here or comment at the end of the page…

Our Breath in Society

 People don’t let others hear their breath much when we are close enough to be able to hear it.

It would not cause any reaction if somebody runs towards you and ends up standing beside you breathing heavily and deeply.  But if someone would start breathing like that out of the blue after first standing quietly beside you, you would probably freak out, like most people.

Most of us don’t know much about our own breath and surely we don’t understand the amazing connection between our breath and the energy flow within us.

In fact, many of the people I have coached discovered the flow of energy in their system came through discovering the power of conscious breathing.

Our culture is not in favor of encouraging one’s energy to flow freely for reasons I’ll let you ponder, and the world around us doesn’t naturally encourage us to free our breath.

To free your breath is a form of inner activism that turns external when others hear you breathe freely, inviting them into it.

So, take 3 deep breaths right now… then practice while being with others… encourage them to join you… 3 deep sighs together 😊

The cumulative power of this transformation at the core of our existence cannot be underestimated, especially when we breathe together.

Join me every day at noon AZ time for a communal breathing meditation and exercise. Click here to learn more.

1 Comment

  1. whydoineedafuuckingusername

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