Breath = Soul Meets Body
Deep breathing is important, not just for the body, calming our nervous systems, but breathing creates space. Creating space just by breathing is important because it brings more of our selves here to land on earth. It helps define the intersection between our body and our spirit. Our autonomic nervous systems are revved up all day long in stress, at work, in thought, and in anything we do that resembles “trying.” Taking a deep breath brings energy in, instead of letting energy out. Breath is the same thing as prana, chi, or universal life force. We need it to survive. We need it to oxygenate our cells, to be alive on the planet. When we are born, we breathe cyclically, just like all other mammals. That means we breathe without stopping between the inhale, the exhale, and the inhale again. It is only when we experience trauma that we begin to breathe differently, at first to physiologically save ourselves in flight or fight response, and then through habit. With one deep breath, we can reconnect to ourselves deeply, changing our consciousness, and, as illustrated in this article, our physiology. We can even access parts of our lungs that have not been breathed into all the way. Breathing helps define us as living beings. It is also part of a bigger practice that can lead us to thriving.