Although our Breathing is an involuntary, automatic and self-regulating function of our nervous system; we do have the ability to consciously alter our breath. It takes no conscious effort on our part for our breathing to keep us alive. Yet if we choose we can stop our Breath for a short time, speed it up or slow it down. This is not possible with our other involuntary functions like digestion and circulation. Our individual Breathing mechanism is VERY unique and powerful.

Parts of the body involved in taking a Breath include the Nose, Lungs, Pharynx, Trachea, Diaphragm, Bronchi and Ribcage. While the muscles of the chest control our Breathing Movements, it is the Nose that regulates the temperature and filters the air before it gets into the lungs. We move approximately 8,640 litres of air in and out of our lungs everyday (41/2 times more than we eat or drink). The air contains oxygen which is delivered to the cells, where it is consumed and generates power. Each time we inhale and exhale we take in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000, (10 to the power of 22) atoms.

Be still & observe

Be still & observe

Lets take a moment to simply RELAX – Be Still – and observe our Breath. Close your eyes and as you RELAX – just begin to notice what is happening in your body when you Breathe. Keep to your normal Breathing patterns – just notice – How does your body feel? Are you Breathing through your nose or mouth? Are you Breathing shallow? Does it feel comfortable to Breathe? Are you in pain? Short of Breath? After spending awhile observing your Breath – find a notebook or paper an write down what you noticed.

“Breathing connects our Awareness to every movement, every thought, every emotion we have. How we Breathe is how we live.” Bija Bennett 1993

Our thoughts and emotions impact strongly on our Breathing Patterns. Next we will take a few more moments to RELAX and observe our Thoughts and Emotions. How do you feel about your Breath? What kind of thoughts come to mind when focusing on the Breathing Patterns in your body? Do you find yourself remembering childhood traumas? Or painful events? Perhaps times when you held your Breath in fright? Again, using the notepad write down anything and everything that comes to mind – you can only benefit from this kind of awareness. Often we have immense unconscious trauma associated with our Breath, and this observation technique can help bring some of our buried thoughts to the surface for healing.

Positive Thought Processes to aid Healing of our Breath include –
It is Safe, Pleasurable and Easy for me ___ to Breathe Deeply and Fully.
As I Breathe in Deeply & Fully I welcome the LifeForce into my Body.
I ___ Breathe in Love & Light and Exhale Tension & Fear.
I ___ Breathe into EVERY situation. I am Safe. I am Loved & Protected Always.
Choose one that resonates for you and say it often, write it, chant it, or whisper it to yourself whenever you can.

Part 4 brings you strategies for Relaxation & Meditation