Shallow Breathers Anonymous
Raise your hand if you haven't consciously felt your breath in the last hour. How about the last 4 hours. Last day? Last week? Last 5 years?
Why do we accept this culture of shallow breathing when so many of us feel ungrounded and disconnected from our bodies? Aren't you ready to get your life-force back?
I bet as you're reading this, you're not breathing as deep as you could be. I share this not as a should-shaming moment, oh no, but an eye-opening one.
I once heard a teacher say "shallow breath, shallow life" - and those words have haunted me (in the most wonderful way) for years.
I too can suffer from shallow breathing in moments of my day. Like when Theo is pulling my arm off as he gallops toward a squirrel, or when I'm caught in an insta-scroll, or driving in traffic, or in conversation with someone and I feel awkward.
So how to remedy this epidemic of shallowness?
It's easy. We start to observe. We observe our breath. Yep. That simple. Right now. Notice the shape and of your breath. Where is it going in your body? How does it feel to tune in? Bring your awareness to your breath - no matter how long it's been away from it. Just take two-three conscious breaths. Close your eye and DO it.
Ok, how'd it go?
Maybe you could feel your breath go into the diaphragm, or the belly. Maybe breathing deeply was a bit of a struggle - or one lung took in more air than another. Maybe it felt really good to just pause and breathe. Because it does feel good. And it IS that easy.
There is an almost magical healing in awareness. There is a great power in consciousness. Where your awareness goes your energy flows. And if breath IS energy (as per yogic wisdom), then deepening, widening, and expanding your focus upon it will light you up with an energy that you, my friend, have only dreamed of.
As I share with so many of my clients and groups - you don't have to do anything fancy to feel your breath. It goes where you go. It's free. It's a powerful and very sneaky tool. It can absolutely beautify, energize, and detoxify your being from the inside out. And those that harness their breath are truly unstoppable.
Want to work on this right now? Try this "one-minute breath" practice that you can do virtually anywhere. And for more inspiration, a quote by Yogi Bhajan to inspire you on your journey of depth:
"You live by the breath. You can get everything from your breath of life. Now please speak to your breath. Talk to it. Pray with it. This is a life relationship: you and your breath. You can achieve what you want, just relate to your own breath of life. That is God in you. Never breathe unconsciously and never waste a breath on negativity. Feel (the breath) in your consciousness, feel it in your body. Feel it in the mind, and the soul will awaken."
Here's to awakening and befriending your breath of life. Here's to never wasting a single precious breath.
To take this work of deepening your breath one-on-one, I look forward to connecting over a session.
To bring transformational practices for stress-reduction and balance to your organization, I look forward to seeing you at a speaking engagement.
photography by the very talented souqfly