There is a balance to breath.
You probably already know this. Breathing is take and give, inhale and exhale, fill and empty, yin and yang, draw in and pour out. It is balanced, “As all things should be” (Thank you Thanos).
But there is much more balance to breath than one might imagine.
Actual balance, your ability to stand, walk, type rope walk, or perform a crane pose also greatly depend on how you breath. Your diaphragm, your breathing muscle, is a spinal stabilizer – it helps to give your spine stability. Having a stable spine, or having a properly functioning diaphragm, helps your body move unhindered. A body that can move without neurological constraints or brakes, is a body that can freely move with control and balance.
The better you breathe, breathing optimally according to your design, the better you can move and control your movements. “Belly breathing,” filling your lungs up from the bottom to the top, gives your spine stability and it removes neurological brakes allowing you to move well, with balance. This balance determines your physical strength.
But same as I mentioned earlier, there is still much more balance to breathing than you might imagine.
How you breathe, how you use your diaphragm, also directly influences the state of your autonomic nervous system. Breathing is the “switch” between your parasympathetic nervous system and your sympathetic nervous system.
What this means is that how you breathe determines whether or not your body is in a state of “fight and flight” or “rest and digest”. Breathing short and shallow up in your neck and chest toggles the “switch” in your autonomic nervous system to “fight and flight” mode. Breathing long and deep down into your abdomen toggles the “switch” in your autonomic nervous system to “rest and digest” mode.
Proper breathing is the key to having balance in your autonomic nervous system. “Balance” here would be only being in “fight and flight” mode when it is needed and normally operating in “rest and digest” mode. This balance determines your physical health.
By the way, whichever mode you are in, parasympathetic or sympathetic mode, also greatly influences how you move and how much control you can move with.
Not only that, but the state of your autonomic nervous system greatly influences your thoughts and emotions as well. So in a sense, breathing properly also brings balance to your emotional state; whether or not you live with joy and peace or you live in anger and anxiety. Having balance here determines your mental health.
Balance is multilayered and woven together. There is physical balance seen in physical expression, there is a balance of function in the autonomic nervous system which affects most all states of homeostasis in the body, and there is the balance of emotional well being and all the thoughts that come with that. But balance is balance. It is all the same. It is all you. And, to a large extent it is all influenced, if not determined, by how you breathe.
You were created to have balance and to be in balance. You were created to breathe the breath of life, of peace, of joy. Breathe long, breathe slow, breathe deep, and breathe easy with your powerful, unforced, natural breath.
Take a moment to breathe. Or Share this with a friend or loved one that could benefit. Do this:
- Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth
- Relax your stomach (let go)
- Breathe in through your nose
- Pull air down into your belly
- Let the air gently escape through your nose by simply letting it go
- As you exhale, search your neck and shoulders for tension and let it go too
- Relax and breathe in. Relax and breathe out.
- Balance yourself.