“Close your eyes and gradually bring your breath into your mind’s awareness. Experience each inhalation as it draws fresh energy in; feel the exhalation emptying you, carrying away fatigue, stress and unnecessary thoughts. Let your breaths flow softly, and smoothly from one into the next without hurrying or pressing between breaths. Now breath in, and breath out.” Diana Ross
We hear from time to time this familiar saying ”take a deep breath” when we become stressed, anxious or over excited. Ever wonder why? There are so many reasons as to why. Taking a full, deep conscious breath has been known to settle us down when we are nervous or upset.
How we create this internal calm is to tune into your breath, consciously. The immediate result of tuning into your breath is the ability in obtaining control of your emotional state of mind. The positive potential results in facilitating recovery from surgery, and beyond is the ability to calm your nerves, and invite relaxation. The immune system benefits as well to proper breathing cycles. By conscious breathing we bring the mind/body/spirit state into balance and the nervous system runs with maximum efficiency. Balancing the breath serves to maintain and equalize the complete breath cycle. The goal of the inhalation and exhalation is to be identical in volume and duration thus creating the natural flow of the breath. This natural flow brings the quiet mind with it. Concentration will be higher during this equalized state and invite a meditative mind. A meditative mind cannot happen until the breath is brought under control. You see now how vitally important the breath is in wellness and how it heals.
Habitually we resort to unconscious shallow breathing and clearly do not utilize our true lung capacity creating uneven inhalations and exhalations. In the beginning if the airflow is unequal, do not be concerned. It is a natural phenomenon, and you need not resort to any other method; just continue to practice breathing with awareness. Therefore an equalized airflow through both nostrils should be strived for. Also in the beginning the effects of the breathing practice may not be felt right away, but after a few sessions the results will show itself. It is only through practice that we begin to master so don’t get discouraged. In practicing breathing techniques (pranayama) the mind will become still, and the breath will become even. The energy we normally spend engaging and processing the world around us begins to bend inward and we see it with more clarity.
The importance of training the breath becomes a powerful tool in managing stress, fear, and anxiety. It assists in restoring energy and calming the mind, so we need to breath with greater awareness. The breath is an amazing vehicle in that it is always present, and effective at every level of self inquiry and acts both as preventative as well as restorative. Once we bring an awareness of the breath into the moment, where it is most needed, we can then improve our quality of life. We can enjoy quiet moments of meditation: we can enjoy our be-ing.
Diana Ross, E-RYT500, CYT, Certified KaliRay TriYoga, Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga