By Guru Prem Singh Khalsa *
Ahhh–the beginning of a new year. Time to take stock, focus on yourself, and make some new resolutions. One thing we can say with absolute certainty is: if we are breathing then we are alive! You may take breathing for granted, but very few of us know how to do so properly.
The benefits of breathing correctly are:
Improved digestion and elimination
Reducing back pain
Reduction of/or relief from acid reflux
Calmer more relaxed
Typically we remain so unaware of our breathing that we are often surprised to learn something as common as speaking is done on an exhale. We breathe a lot, approximately 20,000 times a day, about 15 breaths per minute, in our so-called relaxed state. You might think that with all this practice we would be good at it. The problem is, for the most part, we have become well practiced at being incorrect.
Why do humans have to be taught how to breathe? Don’t we do so naturally? This is one of the biggest distinctions between humans and animals. Animals are born to live by their instincts and impulses, and are naturally programmed to breathe according to their needs and circumstances. Humans who are born to live by intuition need to train the breath to serve their higher nature. As humans we are as calm, nervous, angry or sad, as we are breathing. This is where our great challenge arises.
When you think about it, you probably know at least one friend who might have been six feet tall at forty years old, but now at sixty, this friend has “shrunk” to five foot ten. It is very common to lose inches of height as we move through our lives. In addition to diminished height, a loss in lung capacity also occurs. This loss of spinal flexibility as well as lung capacity makes breathing more difficult which stresses our “stress management” further. There is a saying, “you are as old as your spine”. If you want to age gracefully, learn to breathe calmly and stay flexible.
We all need to learn to “become calm”.
To become calm, we must learn to calm our breath.
To calm the breath, we must learn to equalize the speed of the ‘inhale’ with the ‘exhale’.
So, sit back, take a breath, and watch this video, and enjoy breathing correctly…
*Guru Prem Singh Khalsa is the author of two books that directly relate to the body and how to use it correctly: Divine Alignment & The Heart Rules. You can find out more about him at www.divinealignment.com and the books are available on Amazon.com. He has worked at Khalsa Medical Clinic for over 30 years as a Breath & Postural Alignment Therapist.