A few people throughout time have discovered that breathing is a multipurpose tool for many different situations one may find oneself in. Breathing is instrumental in many different activities such as yoga, meditation, singing, musical instruments, exercise, martial arts, horsemanship, performance arts - and those are only the things I can think of off the top of my head.
We take our breath for granted. There are only a few things we need to be able to be alive and breath is one of those things. With every breath we breathe in we are giving our bodies the ability to sustain our very life force. Without breath we die. Our hearts and breath move together in synchronicity, creating a constant rhythm within our bodies - the rhythm of life. The steady beating of our hearts matched to the in and out of the air that sustains us. How much of what our bodies are doing are we actually aware of? Very little. We do not think of all the processes happening in our bodies, processes without which we would not be alive. We do not think of our circulatory system, moving the blood all throughout our bodies, feeding our muscles, organs and brains. We do not think of our digestive systems, constantly breaking down and sorting through whatever we've chosen to put into our mouths. We don't think of the tensing and relaxing of our muscles, working together to enable us to do things like type, walk, speak and even breathe.
There is no way that we could know exactly what our bodies are capable of if we are not even aware of all of the processes that take place inside our own bodies. Then this naturally takes us to the next series of questions on what the connection is between mind, body and breath? To what degree are our minds and bodies connected? To what degree can our physical actions and state influence our minds? Most cannot answer these questions with any certainty, but many people feel comfortable enough to speculate. These things are not at all connected! They are partly connected! They are not connected at all! These responses are rarely given with any real understanding.We find it very difficult to be objective about anything in our lives, everything is always dripping in some kind of personal experience, thought or feeling - it is quite easy for us to influence our own experiences and perceptions so that we can rarely trust even ourselves and our own conclusions.
Breathe in, two, three, four, and out, two, three, four.
And in, two, three, four, and out, two three four.
Simple. Feel the air entering your mouth, airway and lungs. Be aware of the oxygen traveling throughout your body to feed your muscles, organs, tendons. Focus on your breathe. Stop for a moment within yourself, stop your thoughts and just breathe, slow and deep. When you feel yourself bubbling in anger, lost in sadness or grief, reeling in some power trip - breathe - just breathe. You will notice an interesting thing - that is, if you focus all of yourself on your breath and the nourishment of your body - you will notice that your anger subsides, you bring yourself out of the lostness, your thoughts slow and calm. Breath brings a clarity that we so often lack in our lives - a clarity of looking at ourselves or a situation calmly, without riding the waves of some emotion.