There’s so much more than meets the eye, when you think of ‘breathing’.
Drawing breath is the first thing you do when you arrive in this world, and the only thing that leaves the body with you. Our breathing capacity dramatically impacts our being. Short, uneven breaths create a state of unease and tension. Long, deep diaphramatic breaths create relaxation and a more peaceful state of mind. Do you ever stop to lay a hand on your belly or your chest? Can you feel the breath moving up and down like a wave? Can you feel the expansive movement on the inhale? The contracting sensation on the exhale?
When you trace back the origins of the word ‘breath’, you’ll find that there is a connection to the word spirit. In the ancient Latin language, breath and spirit where seen as one. Both words came from the word spiritus:
spir·i·tus | \ ˈspirətəs, in ecclesiastical use often -pirēˌtüs or -pērēˌtüs\
Definition of spiritus:
2[ Late Latin, from Latin, spirit, breath ] : BREATHING sense 2
I find this connection so beautiful. And the reason why I wrote this article, is to invite you to take a moment in your day/week to truly be with your breath:
You can lay or sit down to make yourself comfortable. Also make sure to turn off your phone. Then as you close your eyes and feel your breath, lay your hands on your belly. Let the breath move your hands and see if you can follow the breath from the root all the way to the top. And back again. Continue with this wavelike movement for 5 minutes or so. Imagine each inhale is a wave rising, and on each exhale the wave breaks and moves back down.
When you finish observe your mind and your body for a few seconds?
Did anything change?
Image: Eline de Jong
Wearing the Wave Sweater