Have you ever considered the importance of breathing? It's seems so simple and yet it is vital to our existence. Breath is the foundation from which we live. Our bodies need oxygen and through respiration we fill our lungs with air which in turn sends the oxygen into the blood stream and releases Carbon Dioxide back into the atmosphere. The oxygen that is taken into our blood stream feeds our body's ability to exist and the carbon dioxide we exhale is vital to the survival to plants. I love this concept that we are literally connected to our environment through breath; it's a cycle of taking oxygen and giving carbon dioxide.
Breath can help in so many dimensions of life. Just taking five minutes out of your day to key into your own breath will help you understand your body and emotions. This can be easily done on the bus, waiting for a meeting, before going to sleep etc... Often people associate breathing with Yoga, which it is but there are many dynamics of breathing that are forgotten. Laughter is a healthy dynamic of breathing. When you are nervous have you noticed you may have spoken for a minute without breathing and yet you are able to talk to a friend for hours without noticing your breathing, this happens because we don't utilize our breath to support our actions. Perhaps next time you are filled with nerves breath, key into your breath and have that be your focus not your nerves. If you can control your breathing you will have a greater ability to control your actions.
Being a dancer breath plays a vital roll. Breathe facilities life, life facilities movement and movement is expression. When moving through the space in dance I have to constantly remind my self to breathe, as my breath within me will help me expand, lengthen, widen, shrink and hollow. Also breathe initiates connections to my body and to others. Dancing in a group encourages me to listen to the breath of others enabling me to move with them, widening my awareness of where they are in the space with relation to me.
Using the principle "that breath connects people" and apply that to your life. The breath of an individual will tell you a lot about their emotional state. Maybe you have asked a friend if they are OK and they responded in the affirmative but if you pay attention to their breath they might be breathing irregular of very fast; these are not patterns of relaxed breath. By developing a sensitivity towards other peoples breathing patterns you will be intone with their needs.
Just take a moment and tap into your own breathing. This can be awkward and uncomfortable for people who have never paid attention to their breath before. Notice where the breathing takes place, how your body reacts to breath, there is no need to judge just recognize and become alert as you inhale and exhale. By paying attention to your breathing you will discover truths about yourself and how you react to the world around you.
Next time you are stressed or frustrated return to the basic foundation from which life is built; breathing. Allow your breath to serve you, take time to decide how you want it to serve you, perhaps you need to relaxed or need control and use your breath to support and facilitate your intended actions.
By Jessica Carney
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