Updated: Apr 29
Do you take your breath for granted? It just happens right! Is there any need to think about it?
If you leave your breath to its own devices, you won't stop breathing, but you also won't maximise your breathing potential either. The reason for this is quite simply because, for most of us, our breath has become somewhat shallow, and well, kind of lazy. So we breathe the bare minimum required for survival.
It's kind of like being average instead of being great at something. When you improve your breathing, you improve your life. So if you want to thrive rather than survive, you will want to maximise your breath. There are many reasons for this too.
In Yoga, breath is prana, the life force of your body. Yet, for most of us, we give it very little attention. The truth be told, our breath is on autopilot most of the time. Our breath is what oxygenates our blood cells, which the heart then pumps throughout our body to support every cell function of our entire bodies.
The heart is therefore basically a pump, as such, it has a used by date just like any other pump. Maximise the oxygen in each pump, and life has the potential to become very different indeed.
Like anything, efficiency gains bring significant rewards. Breathing new life into your breath has the potential to improve every part of life, both physiologically and psychologically. Better breathing creates better focus in the mind, which improves work performance and satisfaction. Who doesn't want that at work?
Better breathing promotes improvements in your physical health, as more oxygen flow through the body, which potentially can impact every part of your body. There are breathwork exercises for every age, every situation and everything you wish to improve, including improving focus, relaxation, anxiety, depression and sleeping in your everyday life.
Who would have thought that something so significant to our lives would get such little attention? It is unfortunately simply about autopilot. Are you going to let the plane fly itself, or are you going to take charge of the plane that is your life? The choice is yours.
Don't take my word for it! Try a simple three-minute breathing exercise and see for yourself.
Breathe for one minute naturally, using a timer count how many in-breaths you take in the one minute. Don't adjust your breath in any way just observe how many you take. Then breathe for one minute, thinking about lengthening your breath, making your breaths long, slow and deliberate. Using the timer again, count how many breaths you take in this one minute of mindful breathing. Then finally, set the timer again for one minute, and breathe completely naturally. Count the breaths you take in this one minute. Then 8 hours later, set a one-minute timer again, breathe naturally and count how many breaths you take in one minute.
Consider the difference in the number of breaths on the third minute, after you had performed one minute of mindful breathing. Compare how many breaths you took in one minute, eight hours later. Consider how you felt throughout the day, compared to the average day. What changed?
After doing this exercise that merely took four minutes of your day, consider this. You saved yourself breaths, which means that you save yourself heart pumps, remembering that all pumps have a used by date. So if you have improved the efficiency of your breath, after just taking four minutes in your day, imagine what you could do if you did the same for twenty minutes a day! Then work out what it means in a year! It is all about choice. You can choose to breathe better, or you can choose to remain on autopilot. The benefits are significant and are all driven by choice.
This three-minute exercise is merely the tip of the iceberg in the potential for better breathing and a better life, one breath at a time.
Would like to know more about how to breathe more life into your every day?
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There is a better way forward, one breath at a time.