Why is awareness of our breath so important? We all do it, every day. Why would we need to “learn” how to breathe? Breathing done effectively is a means to deep healing and is a powerful tool in coping with ever-present stress and challenges of life. Breath, quite literally, is what gives us life outside of our mother’s womb. Our breath is how our body speaks to us every minute of the day. Understanding how we can work with our breath is a critical concept that most people do not learn in school or at a job. Yet when we learn to partner our mind with our breath, we can change our life in so many positive ways.
I recently had the privilege to sit down with R. Christian Minson (more about him at the end of this post), whom I met while participating in one of his breathwork classes. His teachings and guidance were profoundly life changing for me and I wanted to share some of his wisdom with you.
Learning breathwork impacts our physical body by allowing healthier consumption of O2. It helps us maintain resilience, detox our bodies, energizes us, helps protect us against disease. It is a the component for delivering oxygen into our bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide. By breathing deeply, we engage our parasympathetic nervous system. Doing this will slow down our heart rate and lower our blood pressure thus creating a calmer state of mind. When we are in “fight-or-flight” our breathing speeds up which causes a stress response. This is a state of breathing we often unconsciously operate in, which can wreak havoc on our body. Learning to consciously focus on breathing in specific patterns can cause the body to relax.
Becoming aware of our patterns of breathing during times of high emotion helps us maintain equanimity and think more clearly. This helps with our relationships both at work and home.
Breath carries Prana, the life force energy. It is a connection to higher self. When we practice, we can move beyond our body and mind, and connect with our core spirit. In other words, we can take a break from our ego and connect to a universal consciousness. Many people who practice breathwork experience spiritual awakenings or attunements to their inner being.
Having the knowledge of the benefits and importance of breathwork is a beginning, but what does it look like in our daily lives? Christian had some incredibly helpful insights and tools that I want to share with you.
Overwhelming demands from work, partners, and family dynamics can often have us trapped in an emotional state of frustration. If you are anything like me, I have the unfortunate habit of crying when I am frustrated or feel I am not being heard. Crying is the very last thing we want to be doing at work. In fact, most people are not comfortable crying in front of anyone, let alone their boss or coworkers. So, what do you do if you find yourself in a position where the tears are welling, and the frustration is overwhelming you? Christian recommends two pathways depending on the circumstances in which you find yourself:
- If you are able to step away from the situation and take 15 minutes to yourself, Christian recommends allowing the feelings to surface. If that means crying, let the tears flow. If you are angry and need to scream and yell (highly recommending doing this in your car as I have had to do on occasion) let it out. The important part here is to consciously breath with the emotional release. This allows the emotion to work itself through and leaves you with a clear head, able to get on with life feeling more stable and grounded.
- If you are not able to step away, you are in a meeting or a public venue, focus on rhythmic breathing. It does not matter the pace or depth of the breath; it is the rhythm. Just breathe in and out with no space held at the top or the bottom of the breath. I counted in 4 and out 4 when practicing but the number is up to you. The practice of bringing awareness to your breath in this way at moments of high emotion will allow you to continue with your task until you eventually are able to step away and release the emotion.
Allowing the emotion to be released is essential and our breath helps us experience our emotion while not getting trapped or overwhelmed by it. If we continue to do what we so often do, compartmentalize because we are simply too busy to “deal” with our feelings, it will catch up with us. It always does. If we do not give ourselves the time and space to feel and release our emotions, when they finally do come up, it is inevitably not the best time or place. It can often come out inappropriately directed at others in the form of overreaction. I have been there, and I imagine I am not alone in this. This degrades our relationships and causes unnecessary and unwarranted drama in our daily lives. Simply becoming aware of and working with our breath is a simple and effective tool to help us navigate stressful situations.
Although this post does not even begin to scratch the surface of how introducing a breathwork practice into daily practice is a life changer, hopefully it piques your curiosity to learn more. If this resonates with you and you are interested in learning more ways to heal and have a valuable tool to walk through life with, I recommend reaching out to Christian or finding a breathwork facilitator in your area to continue exploring.
Thank you, as always for taking the time to read this post. Wishing you light and love.
R. Christian Minson,
CTBF BREATHFLOW WELLNESS
Spiritual Lifestyle Coach
Award Winning Speaker
Best-Selling Contributing Author
Encinitas, CA 92024
INHALE LIFE! (tm)
Robert Christian Minson is an International Speaker, Best-Selling Contributing Author, Trainer, Coach, Breath Facilitator for the Transformational Breath Foundation – One of the largest Breath School on the planet today – and he is the Founder of Breathflow Wellness, a world-renowned transformational holistic health and wellness platform to share the life-changing techniques of breathwork.
Christian has worked alongside the thought leader Gregg Braden and has shared his message and techniques across the globe, including Europe, Mexico, Canada, and all over the USA. He has shared his message in studios, universities, churches, and the Chopra Center. Visit his website at www.breathflow.com.
Check out this video on Conscious Breathing: As Your Breath Flows…