Breath of Life

Standard

“It is more important to breathe than to move”

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We are only just beginning to glimpse how vital it is for us to focus on who we are – human BEINGS not human DOINGS. So many feel and believe they are defined by what they DO, as if they are what they do. This is so clearly dangerous because if you cannot do what you do anymore, then if you believe you are what you do, you no longer know who you are. We should live our lives so that removing any one aspect does not leave our lives in complete disarray. It is easy enough to say that and to agree with it, but another matter entirely to integrate it into our way of life.

Spending some time daily on my yoga mat, I am learning much about life. We need to leave our ego at the door, to listen to our bodies and above all, to focus on our breath. It is about our personal practice, remaining in the present and if we travel off the moment to calmly bring ourselves back to the present through focus on the breath, and about going at our own pace regardless of those around us. In a room full of people breathing with yogic breath (in and out through the nose, both of equal length), but each person with slightly different tones and timings, it genuinely sounds like the ebb and flow of the ocean tide, no tension, no friction, no fiction, just truth. An Ocean Symphony of Breath. The breath cleanses, calms, cools or heats and rejuvenates; it comes with us into the practice, it stays with us and we leave with it. The breath is such a powerful automatic function to focus on and become conscious of because it is so personal, so internal, and can be used to enhance our lives. We can breathe into tense parts within our bodies to ease them, and we move in alignment with our breath. If we do not, movements become challenging and can even be dangerous. We breathe out anything we do not need – pain, negative or compulsive thoughts and tension.

Breathing is the ultimate exchange between inside and outside – we breathe in, we fill our lungs and our belly, and then we breathe out. This basic, elemental function is a gift of life and should be used to bring in goodness and to release anything that we do not need or that is toxic. We need to make sure that we consciously breathe good in > bad out, not the other way around.

How we breathe sets the pace and rhythm of our lives – I sometimes have to remind myself to breathe more deeply! I know the rhythm of my breath when I run intimately, it has been that way naturally for years, and if I get out of sync with myself, I get more tired faster and fall out of step.

Apply concerted effort to expand the breadth and depth of your breath every day, in whatever you do, and place less effort elsewhere. Things will naturally fall into place if you follow your own internal rhythms. Listen closely to hear those sounds above the sometimes cacophonous and often distracting sounds of the world. Breath and (heart)beat – the original symphony inside us all.

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