(Image via http://sanctuaryogaretreats.com.au/yoga-retreats/)
If you ever happen to find yourself in a yoga class, you will hear the teacher tell you repeatedly one of the following:
"just breathe" "connect with your breath"
The deeper we breathe, the more oxygen is able to enter into the body via our lungs. From there oxygen clings to red blood cells and enters into the blood stream. Once the oxygen is in our blood it purifies the blood stream- benefiting every part of the body as well as the mind.
In addition to supplying nutrients to our billions of cells, our breath also has special benefits for our brains. Our breathing is intimately connected with our autonomic nervous system. Our nervous system is what sends messages and signals throughout the body. We are all probably familiar with how shallow, fast breathing can activate our sympathetic system- governing that flight or fight response; resulting in anxious, stressed, and depressed feelings. If we take slow, deep breaths our parasympathetic system is activated- responsible for rest, relaxation, and digestion; and we experience the feelings of content, bliss, and ease.
(Image via http://liveshanti.net/2015/07/10/eight-limbs-of-yoga-pranayama/)
The most essential food for the yogi is oxygen.
All foods and consumption break down to chemical elements, so it is easy to distinguish, we consume more oxygen than any other chemical element. One can look at the necessity of breath compared to food and water and see oxygen attainment remains highest.
Connecting with our breathing is what allows us to find presence. As we focus on our breath- the inhales, exhales, and retention; our body and mind come to the present moment. Our breath becomes its own unique meditation. When we focus intently on our breathing we let go our past worries and regrets, let go of our future anxieties and anticipation, and find a sweet serenity and stillness in our breath.
How often during your day are you aware of your breathing?
love & light
With a newfound passion for life and a deep interest in the connection between science and art, this is where ideas develop and blossom and are shared with you, my friends. Thanks for stopping by and joining me on this journey.