plants, field, nature

The Breath’s Subtle Power

When was the last time you took a deep breath and realized how fortunate you were to be here, at this very moment – Alive? Breathing is your sign of aliveness! The breath is so subtle yet so powerful. It’s such a natural bodily response that you can go on your days without thinking about it nor paying attention to its signs.

That which comes before the breath is the impulse toward life. We do not know where the impulse comes from, or how it manifests within us. Breath is indeed one of the most mysterious facets of our existence. Though the act of breathing can be explained by atmospheric pressure, how is it that breath causes us to live and, when it leaves, causes us to die? – Eddie Stern, One Simple Thing

Personally, it is through my yoga practice that I have come to realize its essentiality. In yoga, you are constantly invited to bring upon awareness to your breath whether in movement or in stillness. In movement, linking your breath to postures becomes an important guide. If your breath becomes agitated and shallow, you can question if you are going beyond your limits and readjust. On the other hand, if the breath is steady, deep, and calm, it’s a sign that you are integrating the posture with ease and control.

In stillness, the breath can be used as an anchor as you work towards quieting the mind allowing less room for regretful thoughts of the past and anticipation of the future. Concentrating on the breath connects you to the precious moment of the NOW. It’s a direct, simple passage.

The good news is this powerful awakening tool, called the breath, is accessible freely for every human being.

As stress related health issues have been on the rise, breathing practices can certainly be part of a wellness toolbox. “According to yoga, thinking occurs when the breath moves independent of awareness, but when breath and awareness are harmonized, discursive thinking can be controlled.” – Eddie Stern

You don’t necessarily have to practice yoga to integrate breath awareness in your daily life. But of course, a steady mindful breathing practice, like anything else, is more likely to sustain and support your health in the long run. Again, the breath is so subtle and easily forgettable. “When it comes to our health and our longevity, a little consistent maintenance goes a long way.” – Eddie Stern,

plants, field, nature

Have you ever been told or intuitively taken a few deep breaths before a precise moment? Situations that come to mind are for example:

  • When donating blood and the nurses invites you to take a few deep breaths before and while they pin the needle to relax and ease into your body
  • Becoming agitated from an intrusive fear based made-up scenario or thought. Taking a few deep breaths invites you to come back to the moment, realizing that there is no real threat and that it simply is a made-up story
  • During a sport event when the last possible winning shot is to be taken (ah! so stressful) a few deep breaths invites you to bring yourself back into a focused bubble while letting the loud screaming crowd dissipate
  • Before an important presentation, taking a few deep breaths invites you to ground yourself back into your feet; back in your body, a necessary shift to remember and embody your words
  • After receiving some deceiving, saddening, or irritating news, taking a few deep breaths invites you to step back and let yourself feel whatever is arising more compassionately

If any moments alike come to mind, simply imagine how you felt afterwards when you took a few deep breaths. More calm?, centered?, focused? or in the moment? Whatever that feeling may be, chances are, it was beneficial and allowed your mind and energy to shift gear. That’s another powerful way of seeing the breath, as an entry way towards a more composed Self. After only a few deep breaths, our decisions and ways of being can become more aligned with what we really want to experience.

Let’s come to tune into the beauty of our breath. A constant reminder of our fragile aliveness. Conscious breathing offers you the opportunity to be more attentive, calm and experience life more fully and awakened.

“The breath is the intelligence of the body.” – T.K.V. Desikachar

Breathe in, breathe out

Inhale, exhale 

Remembering your precious Aliveness

If these words spoke to you, share to those who could benefit:

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