Breath is the spirit and life |

Breath is the spirit and life

Catherine Zeeb, PhDVail, CO, Colorado

Breathing in, I calm body and mind,Breathing out, I smile.Dwelling in the present moment,I know this is the only moment. Thich Nhat Hanh

Breathe. Its a simple reminder. We do it all the time, right? Breath is life. It is our most primal function. It is completely automatic, yet totally within our control. We dont usually think about our breathing. We assume it will happen automatically just like it has until we die. Im going to talk about conscious breathing; taking breath into our whole body with intention. When we breathe through our whole body, we are aligning ourselves with the natural flow of energy connecting heaven and earth. Breath is the spirit of life, it is called chi, ki, prana or energy. The average person breathes at only a fraction of breaths potential. Your breathing can be healed, brought back to the level that nature intended. When we breathe on a conscious level, every system in the body begins to work better. We find that the breath itself naturally heals and renews the body, mind and spirit. Conscious breathing becomes a very powerful self-directed healing process. The breath reveals itself to be an untapped natural resource, a therapeutic tool for health, growth and change.If you are thinking of your breathing at this moment as you read this column, you may notice that you either hold your breath, breath only into the upper part of your chest or you may remember past breathing experiences. Breath is such a simple thing we can learn to do with intention and its free!What does it mean to breathe with intention? One method within conscious breathing is to ask quietly from within what we would like this breath, at this moment, to provide us. For example, if youre feeling stressed quietly say to yourself, With this breath, I will bring peace and love to my mind, body and spirit I ask that all energy that I am holding onto and causing stress in my body be released in this moment. Take a breath and know that you are heard, and then relax into the breath. This takes one moment. It can happen that fast. As you practice doing this throughout your day, you will find that things you thought were important can be released, or at least redirected, without attachment to them. Breath is one of the most written and talked about methods of healing throughout time. Native Americans call each breath we inhale Spirit and every breath exhale Spirit. Yoga holds as a central truth that breath is the connection, the bridge, between mind and body, between the visible and the invisible. The Hindus call it prana, which means literally life that is life-force. The Chinese call it chi, the Polynesians mana, the Amerindians orenda, and the ancient Germans od. In India it is named by the Sanskrit word prana; in Tibet it is called sugs, and in Aikido, Japan, ki. It is an all-pervasive organic energy. Breath connects us to each other, and it connects all of us to God, nature and existence.We cannot have relaxation and illness at the same time. Breath has healing agents that wont cost you a thing. Breath awakens our connection to our source, to the divine within us and to the healing energies that already exist. Whether you have physical or psychological issues going on, breathing, at a very basic level, relaxes the mind and the body. This in itself is a huge tool to begin your own healing.There are numerous breathing techniques. Opening and relaxing with the breath is like opening doors to your soul. Every breath induces relaxation. As you practice with intention, expand the properties of each breath. If you feel highly stressed throughout your day, take two or three minutes in your office, in the restroom, in your car or a room in your house, to take three to five breaths and breathe with intention. Working with a breathwork practitionerc an help you learn how to help yourself with illness and you can experience, at minimum, balance, and, at maximum, a healing.Take in a breath. Not a huge deep one, just a slow easy breath. As you do this, remember that each inhale is spirit, light, divine, God, Buddha the energy or belief that is within you. Each exhale is Spirit, sight, divine, God, Buddha the energy or belief that is within you. Imagine that this breath flows or vibrates from above the top of your head, the heavens or father sky, through your lower region, 1st Chakra, or your feet and into mother earth. This is your spiritual connection to your own soul. This is the beginning of your healing breath practice. For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth. Sanskrit ProverbCatherine Zeeb holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards and teaches Metaphysics at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. You can visit her website at

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