We do it every day, every second, yet, we barely realize it.
With an average of 16 breaths per minute at rest, we breathe more or less 8 409 600 times in a year. From this perspective, this simple automatic act is not that insignificant anymore. We tend to take it for granted even though without breath, our life would come to an end.
So what is breathing?
It is the physiological process of taking the air and then expelling it through the lungs. This action produces a series of physiological actions resulting in life. In Yoga, this is the obvious entryway for Prana, the life force energy.
If you take a moment right now, while reading this post, notice how you are breathing. It is a short breath located solely in the top of the lungs? Or is your diaphragm fully contracting to increase the volume in the thoracic cavity resulting in more air coming through the lungs?
Is there anything you can do differently?
Yes, there are so many things you can do. Here are a few options to guide you.
To bring back awareness on this essential act that makes us alive, you can try to notice how is your breathing throughout the day; you may also observe what is your mood at those moments, or your surroundings and the environment.
If you wish to experiment further, you could use a nose plug and breathe through a straw while doing some of your regular activities around the house or while practicing a few yoga movements at home. These exercises could be a reminder of the beauty of life, enabling you to appreciate being alive and capable of “feeling” your breath.
Breathing is so vital, and yet so simple. It reminds us that simple things are the most valuable ones.