It dawned on me recently that we’re never taught to breathe. No one teaches us how important it is to actively breathe when we’re young. There wasn’t a class on breathing in elementary or high school. And unless we practice yoga, or play with holding our breath under water, we are often unaware of the importance of this essential bodily function.
The flow of our breath is just as important us proper flow of blood. Without the breath our blood can’t flow. Without breath our organs can’t function. Without breath, we can’t move. Every moment of life relies on breathing whether we actively engage it or not. The point is breathing is the essence of our being. As yogis say, breath (prana) is our life force.
Lack of breathing is a huge contributor in making a stressful situation more stressful while ultimately taxing the body. When encountering a stressful situation, a long breath in and out can completely alter how you react. And how you react impacts your physical, mental and emotional sates. For many people, lack of breathing in a stressful situation creates layers of tension in the body and worse, overburden the heart. Overtime these layers can accumulate into unbearable knots and pains. That’s usually the point when many people turn to their massage therapist, yoga mat and/or meditation cushion. While others seek harmful alternatives –drugs, alcohol and/or nicotine- or overindulge in food. Instead of seeking out help, go within. Everything you need, especially the breath, is inside of you.
Breathing is the gift of life. It’s the prize for being alive. Every moment of your life can be changed by it. It’s up to you to pay attention and learn to actively use the power of breath.