(No, don’t just read it: really take a breath now.)
Notice the difference between the breath you take when you think about it and the breath you take when you don’t.
(By the way, you might also want to notice that your body breathes pretty well all by itself, adapting to differences like stress, physical demands or sleep without even a conscious thought on your part.)
Back to that breath….
Was it full? Satisfying? Shallow? Hot? Cool? Did it make a sound? How would you describe it (to yourself)?
A friend of mine who wants to give up smoking thinks that, in addition to a nicotine hit, part of a smoker’s fix is the long, slow breath. It takes a long, slow breath to fill your lungs. Try it.
Now, try breathing like this:
- Lie on your back on the floor (or other HARD surface — not in bed)
- Place a heavy book on your stomach, right over your belly button
- Inhale slowly so that your breath causes the book to rise and fall
- Once you get the book to rise as far as you can, hold it steadily there and fill your lower and upper chest. When you have done that, you have enjoyed a full inhalation.
- Shorten your breath, shorten just about everything related to life.
- Lengthen your breath, lengthen just about everything related to life.