Be still and breathe
Isn’t it ironic that in a society where money is such and essential part of life, the most important thing we need is still free. It is abundantly free. Breathing is a link between our physical body and a clear, calm, relaxed state state of mind. The reason being is that deep, focused breathing connects us mentally to our physical body. It is through the awareness of our body that we begin to notice tension, and by consciously relaxing and letting go of tension while our minds are present in our body we become mentally relaxed as well. It is with a calm state of mind that we can understand ourselves and perceive our lives more clearly.
Breathing is controlled by our automatic nervous system, functioning without our conscious involvement . However, being a process of our subconscious mind, breathing is a habit, and as we all know habits can be changed. We can re-train our subconscious mind that controls our breathing by consciously breathing differently. Or to put it in another way, to breathe properly.
The majority of people breathe too shallowly, and the reason is very simple, they are not aware of their breath. Breathing is essential for life, its primary function is for gaseous exchange within our blood by breathing atmospheric gases into our body via the alveoli within our lungs and then exhaling carbon dioxide out. The oxygen within the air that we breathe is then used for cellular respiration to breakdown food to produce energy. We can see the relationship between breathing well and how energetic we feel.
Breathing is a function of the diaphragm, which is a fibrous band of muscle that separates the lungs from the internal organs below it and is responsible for creating an increase in volume within the lungs when we inhale and a decrease in volume when we exhale. The diaphragm relaxes when we breathe in and it moves downwards away from the bottom of our lungs to expand the area within the lungs which allows the atmospheric air to be drawn in. On the exhalation the diaphragm contracts in an upward movement causing the volume in our lungs to decrease which forces the carbon dioxide out. One can understand that it is not our lungs that are responsible for breathing, it is our diaphragm. The way to breathe more deeply, on the inhalation and on the exhalation is to engage the use of the diaphragm more, and this is done by using the muscles of our stomach or abdomen.
A simple exercise
Place your hand over your lower stomach area, and as you breathe in, feel as if you are drawing your breath all the way down into your abdomen. Your stomach should inflate as you inhale, which causes the diaphragm to relax and move downwards increasing the volume within your lungs. As you exhale, feel your stomach flatten against you, which causes the diaphragm to contract and move upwards forcing the carbon dioxide out. You will notice your breath becoming longer, deeper and more relaxed. This is how a baby naturally breathes, but as we grow up, through incorrect habits, we reprogram ourselves to breathe shallowly. This exercise described is a simple but very effective way of teaching yourself the correct way of breathing again.
The Energising Breath
The Energising breath is a guided narrative meditation in a calm and semi-hypnotic voice that will teach you how to breath effectively. One of the reasons why so many people try meditation and soon give up is that they don’t see results straight away and they become distracted. The following technique has been developed over 25 years by the author who trains and teaches the disciplines of meditation and self-mastery.
You will be guided with precise instruction so that your mind stays present on what you are practicing during The Energising Breath meditation. You will be able to stay present as his voice holds your attention and keeps you involved in the exercise from the beginning to the end.
Make sure that the windows are open so that you are breathing in fresh air. Within the atmospheric air that you breathe there is another component besides oxygen, nitrogen and the other minor gasses. This other integrant that is present is the creative and energising life-force that keeps life healthy and functioning at its optimum. Referred to as Chi or Prana in some cultures, this life-force is very real, and, one the best know ways to increase these levels in your body, is through the conscious awareness of breathing.
The following exercise will boost your energy levels and is best practiced early in the morning and/or in the afternoon. You will need to find a place where you are not disturbed so that you can stay focussed for the duration of the exercise. Other benefits of practicing The Energising Breath throughout your life are; improved health, longevity, positivity, productivity, calmness, poise and feelings of inner peace and joy.
The exercise is free to anyone, the only requirement is practice and discipline.