“When you breathe better, you live better” – Elsa, Body Balance Teacher, Downham.
It’s a phrase we hear many times.During an exercise class, during a procedure, when practising yoga, or just when in a stressful moment.
But why is there such a big focus on breathing?
What is so special about it?
Let’s first look at what the breath is.
It is the air taken into or expelled from our lungs.
It is a vital respiratory function of our body. Without it, we would not survive.
There are many other vital functions such as our hearts pumping blood around the body (cardiovascular/circulatory), our guts processing food (digestive), and our glands producing the right number of hormones at the right time (endocrine).
However, of all the vital functions, the only one we can willingly control is our breath.
Think about this for a moment.
Our hearts pump regardless of our say so. Our major organs go about their business 24 hours a day.
Everything within our body just happens without any thought from us.
Except our breathing. Now that’s different.
Yes, it is true that we subconsciously breathe every second of the day.
But we can also control it whenever we want to.
Have you ever wondered why this is?
Common Circumstances When The Breath is Controlled
I think you will agree that the above images are all ordinary events where we use our breath in a controlled way.
But could there be another reason why we have the ability to control our breath?
This is where it gets interesting.
The breath is also used by some to heal the body and reach altered states of consciousness.
Breathing - another dimension
Some yogi’s can use their breath to reach altered states of consciousness and slowing or increasing their heart rates (while sitting).Some can achieve the seemingly impossible like bending their bodies in ways that you wouldn’t even imagine.Yogi’s like Baba Ramdev claim to have healed themselves from disease and paralysis using yogic breathing and techniques.
If you have experienced yoga or meditation you will know that controlling your breathing is essential to both these practises.
Not only does it allow you to relax your muscles, deepening the poses or stretches you may be doing in yoga, but it also brings you to the present moment allowing both your mind and body to flow together.
When you are focusing on your breathing and controlling it in a certain way, you are quieting the thoughts in your mind and focusing solely on the physical body.
Mind and body become One.
Past Life Regression and Soul Rebirthing
The breath is used in both these therapies to connect the client with their past lives in order to heal past traumas or painful experiences that may have carried forward into this lifetime.The breath is controlled into a specific pattern for a certain time period, allowing the client to clear out any tensions or resistance within their bodies and shift their consciousness.
Pain Relief and Hypnosis
If you have given birth to a baby, you will know the benefits of breathing for pain relief!I used breathing techniques, along with water, in both my labours and it worked extremely well. Apart from gas and air, I was fortunate to not need any other pain relief.I know some people use hypnosis breathing techniques to control pain when seeing the dentist or before a medical procedure.Some can also use it to overcome a particular fear or condition that is preventing them from living in the way they want to.
Healing and Channelling
Mediums and Shamans tend to use the breath to connect with spirit before a reading or journeying.As a Reiki healer, I use the breath to connect with Reiki and ground myself before a treatment.I also use the breath to clear any stuck energy I can feel within my client or I may ask the client to take these deep breaths themselves.
If you want to know more, Evelyn Brodie, in her book “Corporate Bitch to Shaman” (you can find this in my inspirations page) writes an excellent chapter called “Era II Healing” on the science behind the breath and its effect on the physical body.
You, Your Breath, and 2020
So, I ask you, the reader, to consider practising this free powerful gift you have.
Perhaps it could be your New Year’s Resolution for 2020.
You only need to start with a few deep breaths every day, right into your abdomen, to start to feel and see the benefits.
Perhaps make it part of your daily routine when you first wake up in the morning.
Or when you wind down in the evenings before you hit the bed.
I try and practise first thing in the morning or whenever I’m feeling down or caught up in stressful moment.
Use your breath daily, ideally for 21 days, and observe what happens to you and your outer world.
As Elsa, my Body Balance teacher says;
"When you breathe better, you live better".