Do You Know If You're Breathing?

For the third time I hit snooze on my alarm. With the blankets covering my head.

I lay there doing complex algebra to calculate how much longer I could stay there before getting ready for my 8:00 meeting. I started to not be able to breathe.

One of the hardest things I do every day is breathe correctly.

I think I knew how once.

Instinctively laughing at kites or holding my breath doing a canon ball into the deep end of a pool. If I was scared I’d puff up my chest to stare down fear.

I seem to have lost this ability in the midst of growing up.

I'm learning again from yoga about breathing and also space. 

Air creates space for you to be able to get a deeper stretch in your muscles. It’s essential to breathe correctly to have a better practice. If we don’t create the space we need we’ll become cramped or contracted. 

Air just doesn't help us live, it gives us a control on how much we grow or contract.

We need Air in our relationships, leaving room for oneself to grow alone but also with another. Taking a break from the need to be texting emailing calling messaging and responding or updating. 

We need Air for our brain to think. We consume all day. In the car, listening to the radio. Waiting in line, on your phone. Before bed, when you wake up. 

When there’s no air for your brain, it goes on overload trying to order and store what’s important and what can be thrown out. It’s overflowing with information and it’s hard to create new thoughts or find old memories. 

Air for our Stomach. I’m always full. It’s always one meal after the next and in between, snacks! There’s no time to fully process the previous meal until it’s on to the next. It’s a cycle. We use up the energy we get from food to digest more food into energy! And round it goes.

If I wakeup anxious, many times my response is to hold my breath. I walk around holding my breath instead of injecting the air I need for breath.

Here are the 2 tricks I’ve been using to add more air in my day.

  1. Exercise, using breath intentionally while you do so. 
  2. Quit thinking. Concentrate but don’t think. What? It’s like when you get tunnel vision while you work. A focused, unaware state. You need to let your limbic system take over. Your brain is a control freak and it needs to delegate responsibility through your body so it can focus. I can get this feeling when I write, draw, listen to a radio story, taking photos...

So tomorrow morning I’ll exercise and see if I can give myself some air. I'll try and turn on some music and turn off my brain. When I get home I'll turn on a hot shower. I’ll Inhale and release, using warm air from my lungs to fog the mirror, distorting my appearance into whatever I imagine myself to be.

LifeDavid Sherry