8 Reasons to Breathe — #1 It’s the beginning of Love

“Deep flowing breath puts you in touch with the flow of life; it’s essentially arousing and exciting.” Michael Sky

Did you just inhale deeply when you read that? It’s not a wild leap. “Romance” is an act of pause, taking a moment to become deeply aware of the beauty in front of you by investing a breath. Conscious breath stops time and engages the many dimensions right next to our skin which is where beauty and love live.

Eckert Tolle reminds us, “There is no greater power than the one contained in Now.”

Slowly, feel your belly then allow it to fill with air; allow it to fall when it will. Noticing is the first step to a wide open new world.

I believe there is no greater way to find Now than breathing and romance.   One conscious breath begets awareness, leads to interest and a gentle uncovering of beauty of what is inside and in front of you.I fall in love a thousand times an hour, when I remember to breathe. I’m easy that way. My heart expands, gratitude surges, and grace comes in. When I forget things don’t flow, either in, through or around me. I love being in that place called love.

2. You look better.   Centered, bright eyed, relaxed shoulders and facial muscles.  All of this describes what Ayurveda calls “Ojas” and what Feng Shui calls Ch’i.  Life force flows easily, and your energy system is actually bigger, more expansive and fills you up.

3. Clears Space and removes stress.  Taking a breath is like taking the time to hollow out the mashed potatoes to make gravy well and then diving in. For me, a breath is a falling in love that pushes away the edges of stress and makes a space for my heart float within my chest.  Disorder falls into place and stupid details disappear, making way for the important ones to allow themselves to be handled easily.

4. You get to be in love…even if ‘the one’ is nowhere in sight. There’s no greater way to attract love than to be ‘in love’.  So no matter where Mr. or Ms. Right is, the beacon goes out and the signal raises your flag.  If you build it, they will come.

5.  Makes you sexy.  A breath allows you to listen with your eyes and your skin. To be breathed in is one of the sexiest things a woman can experience, and you know what happens when a someone makes someone else feel sexy?  They both feel great, alive and well, sexy…you write the rest of that one.

6. It gives you an advantage.  The pause that is a breath places you in touch with your power in this moment. It allows a space where a better answer can come into the conversation from the same place that the breath originates.  It slows down time and it gives you a silent power moment that can be the one that changes the course of events in your life.

7. It increases health: raises your blood pH, which boost immunity, relaxes muscles, detoxifies the liver and blood and prevents osteoporosis.

8. It helps release old grief. Our lungs hold for us the emotion of grief; keeping it safe for us until we can process it out. Smoking is in many cases our intuitional “medicine” for that pain: the warmth of the smoke activates our lungs. Unfortunately the chemicals in modern cigarettes aren’t healthy but neither is unexpressed grief. Once we have validated and released that grief, we no longer need to smoke. Take a few more breaths, seek counseling to help you clear the grief and love your body for finding the medicine it needs. Give it permission to seek its medicine and tell it that when it no longer needs it, you’ll listen and allow yourself to quit, so you can breathe in the joy of a new way of life; one without unacknowledged grief. It’s all connected. That’s how I quit smoking years ago—one day, my body said, “ok, we’re done now.” And I love to breathe.

Try it: Carry your breath (and love) with you into the world. Again I learned how to breathe just within the last two weeks. The Instructors at Tahoe Yoga in Truckee are amazing and reminded me of the inside of my rib cage. They also reminded me to take these things into traffic, work, the coffee shop:

• Keep the inner body bright — just thinking that allows effervescent sparkles to fill my chest cavity.
• Keep the palette back — this one makes me drop my shoulders from around my ears.
• Allow the ribs to expand to the sides — reminds me I am a 3-dimensional being.
• Lengthen the side body — I get taller when I think about this.
• Place the shoulder blades upon the back — reminds me to breathe again.
• Honor your Core — my belly pulls in, my hips rock to center, I get stronger and not so wobbly, physically and emotionally.

And my favorite:
• Allow your  body to breathe you — I am not the one in charge; There’s a greater force.  I like remembering that one.

Send me your favorite quotes about the breathing, love and power of breath. Here are a few I like:
• “Fear is excitement without the breath.” Fritz Perls, M.D.

• “Let the true breath come and go, a subtle continuum on the brink of existence. Tune the breathing until you get breath without breathing; become one with it, and then the spirit can be solidified and the elixir can be made.” – Chang San-Feng, Commentary on Ancestor Lu’s Hundred-Character Tablet Translated by Thomas Cleary, Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook, 1991, p. 187. Poetic interpretation by Mike Garofalo of expository text of Chang San-Feng.

• “One of yoga’s great gifts to making is the discovery of the link that exists between energy, breath, and mind. As you change one, you also change the other two. If you excite one, the other two become excited and, conversely, if you calm one, the other two respond by becoming calm also.” – John Novak, Lessons in Meditation, p. 27

• “…isn’t that the way that love’s supposed to be I can feel you breathe, just breathe In a way I know my heart is waking up As all the walls come tumbling down Closer than I’ve ever felt before and I know And you know there’s no need for words right now.” Faith Hill, Breathe • “Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health.” Andrew Weil, M.D.

• “Emotional and physical states can be altered by changing the breathing pattern.” Wilhelm Reich • “Breathing is the first place, not the last, one should look when fatique, disease, or other evidence of disordered energy presents itself.” – Sheldon Saul Hendler, M.D.

• “Pranayama is the regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath with retention. It is to be practiced only after perfection in asana (physical posture/form) is attained. Pranayama has three movements; prolonged and fine inhalation, exhalation and retention; all regulated with precision according to duration and place. The fourth type of pranayama transcends the external and internal pranayamas, and appears effortless and non-deliberate. Pranayama enables the mind to become fit for concentration, and removes the veil covering the light of knowledge and heralds the dawn of wisdom.” The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 11:49-53, c 500-200 BC, Translated by B. K. S. Iyengar