Who Am I
Importance of Breathing
have been doing breathing since birth and by now must be an expert in it. In
fact in the past 24 hours we
will have breathed in and out about 200,000 times.
It has been well accepted by many traditional cultures that proper breathing
techniques bring about many benefits :
Promote a sense of calm
Cope with emotional difficulties, pain and stress.
Induce sound sleep
Increase energy and stamina
What is Breath ?
In many traditional cultures, breath is envisioned as a direct manifestation of
spirit. It is the subtle energy of the spirit that “enlivens” us, and we receive
this subtle energy by breathing it in or having it breathed into us from above.
Terms such as the prana (India), pneuma (Greece), lung (Tibet), mana (Hawaii),
baraka (Islam), and chi (China) are just a few of the many names of this higher
life force upon which we are said to depend. In a lifetime you will have taken
more than half a billion breaths. Any activity done this often must surely have
a significant impact on your level of functioning.
There is close relationship between breathing and mental states. We talk about
being breathless with excitement or holding our breath in anticipation or awe.
We indicate wonderment at a spectacular scene by describing it as breathtaking.
And when we’re ready to move forward again, after a period of exhaustion, we
call it getting a ‘second wind’. Changes in feelings, especially if they are
intense, are reflected in patterns of breathing, profoundly affecting the
smooth, continuous flow of the breath. Fear produces fast, shallow breathing.
Anger results in short, quick inhalations and strong, rapid exhalations. In
anxious states, breathing is also fast and sometimes irregular. Grief produces a
characteristic sob and relief brings a sigh. Pain often causes a holding of the
breath. Feelings such as joy, love and forgiveness induce slow, smooth, even
breathings and a general sense of peace and well-being. Because the relationship
between breath and mind is reciprocal, we can create a change in our emotional
state by consciously altering our pattern of breathing.
- Sit upright with your palms facing upwards
resting on your thighs.
- You might want to close
you eyes so you can relax better.
- You are going to breath in
through the nose with the tongue touching the upper palate behind the teeth.
- Breath in slowly & gently
to the count of four. Visualise fresh healing energy flowing in with
your in-breath just below the navel area and rising up the spine to the top of
your head. That completes one in-breath.
- Without holding the
breath, and with the tongue touching downwards, breath out through your mouth
with a loud “Ha” sound, slowly and gently to the count of eight.
Visualise all the negative energy, pains, worries, stress etc in your body
flowing down from the head all the way down the body and releasing out through
the feet, and emanating out through the whole body. That completes one
- Repeat steps 4 & 5 as long as you feel good
and comfortable. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy or uncomfortable. The idea
of the breathing process is to be deep, continuous, slow, gentle and rhythmic,
- After a while, you might want to stop the
"Ha" sound, just silient breathing. Always breathing in through the nose
with the tongue touching the upper palate, and
breathing out through the nose or slightly through the mouth.
- Feel the sensations in your body but without
- As time goes on, you might not even notice
you are breathing ! Only awareness of pure being - you and I and the universe
- As above, so below. As without, so within.