Remember to Breathe
This week I originally had plans to bring a deeper and more true understanding of the Yin-Yang Theory, but I found this amazing article on the importance of breath that needed to be aired. The article is titled, "What do the Heart, Breath and the Universe have in common?" and it was posted on the blog Breathe Heartfully in 2010.
This article reveals that the Heart, Breath and the Universe all share one shape in common: the Torus. The torus is the illustration of energetic movement of an electromagnetic field. As you can see by this artist's rendition, a torus is a continuous, spiraling, looping cycle. There is an electromagnetic field surrounding Earth and your heart. Here are some illustrations of the heart muscle fiber directions, which echo the torus shape. One is an older text book drawing of muscle fiber directions and the colorful images were constructed from MRI images of a real heart which were published in 2003.
As you can see they all follow the Torus model. The universe keeps showing us this shape for a good reason. We are supposed to flow easily, effortlessly and continuously like the torus.
So what does this have to do with breath? Everything. Breathing directly affects your heart rhythm; inhaling speeds it up and exhaling slows it down. When you are relaxed, your heart beats more slowly, and your breathing is easy. When you're excited or fearful your heart beats at a faster rate and your breathing is faster and likely more shallow. When you're tensed and stressed out, your heart beat and breath look similar to a fear response - faster heart rate with shallow, tight and immobile breath. Mood and mental state are linked directly to breath and heart beat.
In nearly every bodywork session, I find myself coaching my client to breathe. For me, giving the gift of attention to breath is thrilling because it
is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Breathing fully is the first step to a life that is free from stress and full of peace and happiness. It assists in releasing tension, reversing negative thought patterns, decreasing destructive feelings, and maintaining constancy and calmness.
There are hundreds of breathing exercises and all of them are effective. All yoga practices that I know of teach conscious breathing because it is one of the most direct ways to connect mind and body.
I suggest starting with an easy and calming technique, such as simply sitting comfortably (with your eyes closed) and observing your natural breath. Pay attention to which parts of your body move with your breath. Which parts don't move? Sit and observe without judgment for a few minutes, then begin to breath more slowly and deeply while you keep observing your body's movements and stillnesses.
Fully inhaling and fully exhaling on a regular basis can and will change your life for the better. Since everything is connected - your lungs to your heart, your breath pattern to your emotional state, you to your surroundings, your surroundings to the universe - you will change everyone's life for the better! So, as you live your life, take a moment to remember to breathe.
Peace and Light