How often do you really pay attention to your breath? I first discovered the power of breath when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and fraught with anxiety. Insomnia plagued me those first few days. I was shocked, confused and overwhelmed with the decisions I needed to make about treatment.
I turned to the wisdom of my yoga teacher for help. Rama is a true master of her craft. She told me that the most potent practice I could do for healing was conscious breathing. She instructed me to put my feet up the wall while laying on the ground to relax my sacrum, which in turn relaxed my mind. Music on and feet up the wall for 30 minutes a day, I began my breathing practice. While I had learned about the breath in yoga training, conscious breathing hadn’t truly had an impact on me until my energy level had dropped to Cancer. Time to focus on breath!
Carving out space for daily breath practice was essential. The dynamic of conscious breathing has the power to shift perception. And, in my case it directly shifted my anxiety to relaxation–Yes, every time.
CONSCIOUS BREATH: No matter what circumstance we are in or where we are, breath is a readily accessible tool that gives us power to relax at will. When we bring awareness to our breath, we shift into an integrative process that connects our mind and body to our essential core. Here, resistance, defense and control soften into openness. Conscious breath connects our unconscious world to conscious awareness. It is a pathway to heal the body and awaken awareness.
We take about 21,000 breaths a day. 90% of the nutrition needed by our body comes from breath while 10% comes from food. Attention to breathing purifies the body. It releases the destructive metabolic state of carbon dioxide and creates a constructive one infused with oxygen. Our immune system is enhanced by the oxygenation of every cell in our body. Heightening the energy within the cells of our body is paramount to healing illness.
Breath stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that reduces heart rate and relaxes the muscles. It promotes organ function, aids in digestion, lowers blood pressure and rejuvenates the skin. It tones our nervous system and increases concentration. Breath is the gateway to a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Creating a Conscious Breathing practice is easy and a potent investment in your health. I suggest you begin by setting your cell phone to ring every hour signaling you to stop and take 2 minutes to put your attention on your breath. Inhale deeply through the nose to the count of 7 and stop at the top of the breath for 2 counts. Exhale fully through the mouth to the count of 7 and stop at the bottom of the breath for 2 counts. israel After 2 minutes, recognize your new state. Overtime, you will discover that Peace is as close as your very breath.
15 years later, I’m healthy and thriving. I love the fact that I can choose to relax at will.