by Ulrica Norberg
Breath is lifeforce and literally carry our life. It sustains it. Governs it. There can be no animated thinking, feeling, moving or being without the flowing of breaths in us.
We begin our life with an inhale, and we end it with an exhale. The breath, body and mind all work together. If one of these is agitated, the others will follow. If one is calmed, the others will follow.
From the breath we receive oxygen, which nourishes the blood, organs and cells and Prana (life force in sanskrit) travels on oxygen. Prana is the electricity and motivating force of life. Through breath our physical body is linked to the mind and breathing also links the mind to the life force Prana. The breath enhances the mind-body connection so when we start to cultivate the breath, we connect to our higher self.
- The breath is one of only two functions of the body that is both voluntary and involuntary (the other function is blinking). If we can master to breath consciously, we can control other functions in the body like heart rate, blood pressure, respiration. Through the breath, we can access the parasympathetic nervous system and activate the relaxation response in the brain which means stress reduction for our entire system.
- Most people are not breathing to their fullest capacity which actually means that the nerve cells do not get fully activated and that results us choking the life force in us. Through conscious breathing, we can mindfully generate more oxygen to the body.
- Tightness/stress in the body often creates tightness in the breath. Think of wearing a body suit that is too tight – it is hard to breathe. When your body is tight and tense – you can’t breathe fully. You can be tight in your breathing body just like you are tight in your physical body. Some of this is physical strain impinging on the breath volume; some is emotional or mental blockage preventing us from breathing fully.
- Our mental condition affects the breath which in turn affects postural habits. For example, if you are depressed, stressed or tired you slouch and cannot breathe fully. This creates tightness in the body. By breathing more fully you can change your mental and physical state.
- Yoga is a tool to make our unconscious patterns conscious. Through conscious awareness, we are released from our patterns: physical, breathing, mental, physiological. Each one affects the other.Changing the patterns of your breath changes the patterns of your body, your mind and your life. Breathwork increases freedom in our breathing and freedom in our living. When we liberate ourselves from our patterns, we become more aware of the most subtle aspects of being.Free your breath and the rest will follow.ULRICA NORBERG
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