Breath is exactly that…energy that sustains us. How we breath directly impacts our feeling of wellness in our mind and in our body. Giving our bodies the proper oxygen relieves it of stress, provides it with fuel to go on with the day, boosts our immune system and powers off the attacks on our body that make us feel ill. In fact, the proper oxygen intake provides us with a sense of giddiness, and that is good.
Most of us tend to breathe wrong..that’s right, we breathe wrong. We inhale and pull in our stomachs so that we look nice and slim. All we accomplish is inhaling while pushing down the diaphragm so that our lungs cannot expand to fully take in the oxygen. Pretty smart, huh?
Then we exhale and let loose those stomach muscles we were holding in, and lower the diaphragm, the purpose of which is to help push air from the lungs. Even smarter.
That, my friends, is wrong. Here is what we should be doing: inhale, and feel the air enter into our upper chest and lungs, and push down the diaphragm, letting the belly be soft and expand; then we exhale and bring the navel in closer to the spine and push the diaphragm up, letting the air escape from our lungs. So now the belly, as it were, is moving out on the inhale ( imagine a balloon that we’ve just inflated) and going in on the exhale ( imagine a balloon with the air let out). Breathe slowly, allowing yourself to fully experience the inhale and exhale, simply watching the breath.
Go Slow. Count how many cycles you complete in a minute. Go ahead and hold in between your inhales and exhales. Examine your body’s reaction as you complete these cycles. Taking it slower and slower, see if you can’t bring yourself to just one cycle per minute, so that you are inhaling for 20 seconds, holding for 20 seconds, and then exhaling for 20 seconds. But bring yourself to that stage slowly, over several days and weeks. Begin with 8-10 cycles in a minute, practicing for 3-4 minutes. Move in stages, progressing to fewer cycles for a more sustained period of time. The calm energy you will experience will allow you to experience life itself more fully. You will see things more clearly, your eyes will be brighter, your skin will be brighter and there will be a radiance surrounding you. For the energy in us, that breath in us, will be more complete and vitalized.
Take this same full breath at a rapid pace, about 120 cycles a minute, and we will be engaged in ‘breath of fire.’ Instead of subjecting ourselves to expensive treatments in hyperbaric chambers and the accompanying various side-effects, breath of fire will naturally oxygenate your entire being. Long and deep, or rapid-fire quick, the breath is our most powerful ally in living our life to its fullest potential.