Once upon a time…There is Breath
Breathing is something we do daily. The human being in a living state, breathes involuntarily whether awake, asleep or moving. To breathe is to live. It is a vital function of life. On average, we breathe in and out 20,000 times a day! With up to 10 muscles utilised inhaling and 8 muscles when exhaling, the breath has a powerful effect on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
When we grow up, we have forgotten to breathe not just consciously but with a technique that maximises a lot of benefits through one simple movement. I started to ‘obsess’ more with this in the beginning of the year, just because of a sudden change that swept all over the globe. Initially, it was also something I tend to sweep past just because it was part of my teachings over a meditation track but I didn’t start practising until the mid-year. I do not really feel significant differences or results, but I do feel a little more ‘calmer’ and react quite differently with patience. Along with meditation are podcasts and books about mind transendance and it is still a journey.
Story continues as Breath Introduced the Nervous System
In my previous post, I explained the techniques and differences to breathing. This came to a conclusion of following one way – to enter through the nose to the belly and out the same way. Here, we delve further to the reasons of following this method. Let’s take us back to history where if you’re open to go with Darwin’s belief as we roamed as mammals.
There are two main nervous systems in our body to function:
- Sympathetic System
- Parasympathetic System
The former gives a body with a ‘fight or flight’ response when triggered with a stress of a threat such as an enemy. The latter provides rest and digestion through the vagus nerve that activates the system.
These days we face more stress not by facing a lion or an enemy but through daily activities that we face each day.
Constant stress over time will get us very sick, or hurt or tight in a muscle joint as the body is off balance. Staying off balance can also lead to chronic diseases including cancer. And over time, it becomes a habit. We become subconscious, and feel like we have no control over our lives.
So the vital and crucial thing we need to do is to pause and breathe deeply. A small little response that gets constantly overlooked, can do amazing wonders like how instantly we can react to stress.
And not just breathing once, we have to make a practice for it will bring us back to our life’s balance; physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
Story continues…through the nose
Inhaling through our nose is just as vital when we take deep breaths. This is the point where air actually gets filtered by the lungs, so that the body takes the essential particles to help the body. I’ve mentioned this in my previous post.
If you notice a newborn’s way of breathing, they naturally breathe in and out through their belly and through their nose. This essence of breathing was already naturally built in us.
And the story ends…with Meditation
When we pause to take a breath, we come back more to being in control of ourselves. We rekindle and connect on the inside, so that totally are aware of the outside. Quoting Headspace on what meditation is “Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgement. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.”
The story of this post ends with Meditation, but the journey still continues as I will draw those reading to the next exploration about the types of Meditation that are currently practice. Breath is the key to this door and I know you are open and courageous enough to enter through if you have read up to this part :).
Here is a snapshot of the 9 current Meditation types that our society practices to date.
As much as I have taught Meditation in my classes (last music track for a Les Mills BODAYBALANCE class), I barely meditated myself.
Until the recent lockdown in New Zealand, I have personally started meditating as well as had a job loss, which meant that I had more freedom to explore. Losing my job wasn’t really the trigger but more so a friend of mine gave me an activity from Deepak Chopra on 21 days of Abundance (This links to Day 1). And I have been keeping to the practice from thereon. I’ve also started to read again and have now embark on a new journey of getting myself qualified to teach Meditation. That was the exciting news I wanted to share over Facebook :).
Questions? Thoughts? Go on and have the courage to send me a message. I don’t bite (heh).