Your Divine Right to Breathe
The act of breathing is something we have all taken for granted up until the mask mandates in 2020. Oxygen is so important to our mitochondria that our entire respiratory system has one main job and that is to supply oxygen to our little microbial friends, your MITs. When we breathe, we are taking in more than just air. Air is an invisible mixture of gases that consists of oxygen, nitrogen methane, krypton, helium, and carbon dioxide yes, but there is also an element of mystery we are still discovering to this day. There is an energy, a life force we can tap into by simply breathing. There is so much we are still learning about all the forces of nature. As we found out earlier about Grounding and how profound of an impact it has on our heath. We are still discovering the importance of air and controlling it through breath work. Just as invisible air is to us, there is no scientific way to measure the mysterious energy (Prana) that exists in the air we breathe. But it is there! All life needs air to survive. Air is one of the 5 elements and directly linked to your heart chakra. This element is considered to be the energy of life. Prana means “life force energy”, but prana also means breath. The simple act of breathing connects us to the life force energy (QI) of the earth. Being in the loving arms of nature itself with the feel of grass under your feet, the sun on your face and a cool breeze brushing your hair, is natures best therapy. The next time you are out in nature or even in your backyard or garden, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, feel the life force energy enter your body and just be. Even if just for a moment, tune off, tune in, connect and simply be. It is a powerful way to become present and engaged with this potent element. The body breathes involuntarily whether we are awake, sleeping, or actively exercising. The air we breathe is so important to us that we would not survive but a few minutes without it. We can go 3 to 5 days without water, 30 to 40 days without food. But we would not last 5 minutes without oxygen. Every system in the body relies on oxygen. Effective breathing promotes greater mental clarity, better sleep, digestion and above all, it improves your immune system to protect you from colds and flus. Yet breath is something we simply did not think twice about until our divine right to breathe was taken away during the worldwide shutdown and the mask mandates. Breathing is life. In yoga we refer to this as pranayama. As you learned earlier, “Prana” is a Sanskrit word that means life force energy. “Yama” means to control. Pranayama translates literally to the control of life force energy. It is also known as the extension of breath. Every cell in our body needs oxygen to function properly. It is no surprise that research shows that a regular practice of controlled pranayama breathing can decrease the effects of stress on the body and increase overall physical and mental health. You have heard the term “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. That should really say “a deep breath a day keeps big pharm at bay”.
Ujjayi breath is a type of breathing used in yoga practices. It means victorious breath; it’s also referred to as ocean breath due to the sound it creates. This breath is often used in asana (posture) practice, especially in ashtanga and vinyasa classes. Ujjayi encourages full expansion of the lungs, and by focusing your attention on your breath, it can assist in calming the mind reducing stress and cortisol levels.
Qigong which literally means, energy work, is an ancient art that the Chinese have practiced for centuries. This holistic system of body posture, movement, breathing, and meditation involves graceful movement inspired by animals in nature. There is a belief that combining choreographed movement with specific breathing techniques will cure gastric ulcers, hypertension, anxiety neurosis, and even cancer. Qigong is basically the art of moving energy and connecting with the prana of the earth and it is starting to get noticed around the world because it works! This special system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing and mediation is practiced throughout Asia as a way to cultivate balance and Qi. If you are interested in learning more about this Art, I encourage you to check out TROY CASEY. He has some incredible easy to follow and free YouTube videos on Qigong.
NO DISEASE INCLUDING CANCER CAN EXIST IN AN ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT.
Most of the foods we eat contribute to acidity in the body. You can measure your body’s PH levels with a simple pee strip. These strips can be purchase at a local drug store. If you find you are in an ACID state, there is a breathing technique you can do to bring you back to an alkaline balanced state. WIM HOF developed a breathing system whereby taking deep big breaths prior to a long breath hold, you will fully charge your body by getting rid of carbon dioxide and allowing more oxygen into to the body to roam freely. Through his breathing method, you will fill up every cell in your body with rich oxygen, which in turn will increase ph levels. If everyone would do this type of breathing 3 times a week, we would be a healthier nation and perhaps the need for widespread shutdowns and mask mandates would be curved.
To learn more about this method, I highly recommend you try out some of the free classes offered by WIM HOF himself. WIM HOF, also known as the Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures by controlling his autonomic nervous system using his breathing technique. He is the pioneer into the modern day understanding of hormesis.
LifeSpanners Aging Forward- “BREATHING” Quick Tips:
Quick Tip #1– If meditation is just not your thing and you are not practicing yoga, try starting your morning off with some simple box breathing. Think of 3 things you are grateful for. Maybe you sit on your porch drinking a cup of black coffee as you do this. There is always time for 5 to 10 minutes of relaxed controlled breathing to start your off day.
Quick Tip #2– Throughout the day take a deep diaphragmatic breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Which is basically a heavy sigh. This will reduce your cortisol levels and reduce inflammation.
Quick Tip #3-Invest in a top-of-the-line Air filtration system for your home. Don’t go on the cheap, this is the air you will be breathing at home and at rest. It will be removing toxins from your environment giving you fresh clean air to breathe. Put this at the top of the list for your health hacks. The average cost is around 3 to 4 hundred dollars.
Quick Tip #4- Restricting your oxygen for short periods of time, is a form of hormesis and will ironically increase the amount of oxygen in your body. This good type of oxygen restriction puts a good stress on your MITs and will help the strongest ones get stronger and the weakest ones will be replaced. On top of that, short periods of oxygen restriction have shown to improve brain hormones. Give the WIM HOF breathing method a chance. Challenge yourself to try it out and see how it makes you feel. You just may be rewarded with an amazing day of vitality and energy!
Quick Tip #5-Try to get out and connect nature as much as possible.
Quick Tip #6-Encorporate a yoga practice into your fitness regimen. The asanas in yoga are designed to ring and rinse out your organs of toxins and fill your cells with rich oxygenated blood.
Quick Tip #7-Start a Qigong practice. Once you have done a few classes and have the basics, you can start to do this on your own preferably out in nature with bare feet on the grass or ground. It is a quick and easy way to lower stress levels and replenish your life force energy. After all, 80 million Chinese people can’t be wrong!
Breathing is the only autonomic system we have complete control over. We can at will turn it on or off and take complete control of our breath. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama to promote concentration during meditation and to improve vitality. It has been shown to reduce stress levels, Brain fog and high blood pressure. Proper breathing increase alertness, helps with sleep, prevents accelerated aging, and boost immune systems. It is your divine right to Breathe!
Reads and Sees:
Homotropic breath work – Stanislav Grof & Christina Grof.
“Start your days like this!!” a guided Breathwork Meditation on YouTube by Troy Casey the “Certified Health Nut” For a life changing experience, I highly recommend his “Breath is Life” workshop.