BREATHING IS THE KEY TO AWARENESS
November 7, 2010 by ravenstarshealingroom
“Your breathing is your greatest friend. Return to it in all your troubles and you will find comfort and guidance.” Bernard Gunther
“Every day, we breathe in and out about twenty-one thousand times, and approximately twenty-four hundred gallons of air go in and out of our lungs daily….more than enough to fill a water tank! *The Medulla Oblongata,, located just above the spinal cord, orchestrates the respiratory cycle by activating the diaphragm. This muscle contracts, allowing the thorax to modify its volume during inspiration and expiration. The movement of breathing is automatic, but our brain can impose its will. While we have no power to control our heart directly, we can learn to control our breathing perfectly well. The most exceptional examples of this are yogis and deep-sea divers, who can hold their breath for more than five minutes, which is absolutely unthinkable for the average individual. However, anyone can practice breathing, relaxation and yoga techniques that help us let go of tensions in the body and the mind.” Jean-Pierre Barral D.O.
Our breath is also the means through which we can access higher awareness…..the deeper and slower our breathing the better we can work at our intuitive and mental levels. Your breath also serves as an instant hot line to God (Spirit, Divine, All That Is, Universal Life Force) when you feel depressed, frustrated, ill or have a moment to tune in. There’s no need to put your problem/feelings into words, or formal requests. All you have to do is lower your eyes, take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the air surrounding you….air charged with Divine Spiritual Energy.
Breathing develops a direct link between mind and body, between spirit and psyche. It helps us to focus by keeping our attention on the relationship between breath (outside) and body (inside). It helps us to clear ourselves of earthly thoughts and problems….we vibrate with pure energy, connecting with cosmic and earth energies.
Breath, Spiritus, is a primal name of God (in Christian belief the third person of the Trinity). The attention paid to physical breath or spiritus touches your spirit at the deepest part of your being. Awareness of breathing takes you into a nameless place where Spirit touches spirit. This is the power in every mystical tradition of breathing meditation.
(part of this topic was adopted from a previous article on my blog called Techniques In Breaking Through Mental and Emotional Barriers)
We all know that our bodies breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2). Air passes through our nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, right and left bronchi and finally the aveoli (air sacs) of our lungs. It is the red blood cells flowing through our lungs that takes the oxygen breathed in and let’s go of CO2, which in turn we breathe out.
“The reason we don’t tend to breathe properly is the result of an under-used muscle called the diaphragm…..it lies just at the bottom of the ribcage and just below the lungs and resembles the shape of a piece of pitta bread or an oblong pancake.
Every time we breathe in, the diaphragm flattens out, to allow the lungs to fill up with air. When we breathe out again, the diaphragm assumes the shape of an inverted ‘U’, helping to squeeze the last of the air out of our lungs. This process is then repeated every time we breathe in and out.
Most of us don’t use the diapraghm properly. We tend to go around doing what is called shallow breathing. This means we fill the top part of o ur lungs with air, but not the bottom two thirds and thus, as the diaphragm is resting on the bottom of the lungs, it is never used fully. Certain professions are exceptions to this. Opera singers and athletes are people who have to learn to breathe deeply. Musicians who play wind instruments also come into this categroy, as do stage actors. Anyone can learn how to breathe deeply’ it simply takes a little practice.” Tara Ward, Meditation and Dreamwork
So the diaphragm is also very important in the role of speaking. It allows us to express our deepest feelings inside. It helps us to connect to our power, our sexuality, our passion, our creativity and higher spiritual values. It begins at our 2nd chakra, the seat of our emotions. This area records all our repressed as well as passionate feelings.
When we have been disempowered or held back by a dominating figure, we usually hold in our feelings of pain and humiliation. Holding in negative emotions short circuits our nervous system, depleting our energy, circulation and digestive system.
Breath awareness is simply about paying attention to the air going in and the air going out of your body. This ‘breathing communication’ with God, though wordless, can be very real.
*At the base of the brain stem is the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. Our five senses are literally starved and react by creating sensory complications (coughing, difficulty swallowing, post nasal drip, acid reflux, eye problems, etc.). Also, when our body system is drained of energy and power, to compensate the loss, it will steal it from our eyes, ear, nose, throat and mouth.
Breath Awareness Meditation, next…..