All we are is breath….? Really all we are is breath!! The air that we breathe is a subtle element nonetheless it is something, we can feel it when the wind blows on our skin, we can see it fill up a vessel like a balloon or similar and we can certainly feel it when we fill up the chambers of our lungs. If you are more open in your energy bodies you may feel it, well… everywhere in your body and beyond your body. Expansion through the breath can allow you to experience the very fabric of existence.
The physical mass of our body has been built really on what we have consumed over our life in the way of food & drink. Since a baby we have eaten and drank and that has made our body grow in mass… the body discards the waste. We eat something and it becomes us… as they say “you are what you eat” or rather your physical body is what you eat…. We are more what we breathe!
When we breathw air we take in oxygen that is vital for the physical body to survive, the more oxygen in the blood the healthier the blood, the organs and the whole system, but we also breath energy! Energy, Prana, Chi, Qi, Source, Universal… whatever you want to call that life-force energy… its in the breath!! This energy feeds the subtle bodies and runs through the energy channels of the bodies, the energy channels in the bodies are called the Nadis in the yogic system. Our physical body is manifested through or from the subtle body, they are like the blueprint for the physical. So a good diet can purify the physical body perhaps an even more powerful purification in conjunction with a good diet is conscious breathing to purify the subtle bodies…. clean it before it manifest in the physical!!
There is a saying that we are made of Mind, Body & Spirit…. we can change this to something more tangible – Mind, Body & Breath as each time we breath we inspire our body, we literally In-Spirit our body. As soon as we don’t breathe, the Spirit leaves the body and we call that death.
If you want to be more connected to spirit… then breath more consciously and differently… see what happens if you breath fast and chaotic… or slow, or pausing or not pausing, circle flowing from inhale to exhale, breathe as deep as you can for a period or a slow as you can. the best way to Experience is to Experiment!! don’t just listen to books or yoga teachers that may or may not be just regurgitating information…. its your body, play with it…. then you experience for yourself. Notice that your breath always connects you to your feeling state… when we are angry we breath fast and get hot inside… when we are sad or crying we tend to breathe in & in & in… we hold on, we tense our jaw in the attempt to stop the exhale as when we exhale we feel and express our feeling.. and if we allow a nice big sob comes out. When we are experiencing fear, we breathe shallow as not to move or be seen…(maybe a left over from our reptilian brain) and when that goes passed our threshold it can turn into what people call and anxiety attack… which is really just the body taking over and expelling the fear from the body through deep fast and chaotic breathing…. and the more you breathe the more you feel as the energy is leaving your body. Generally in emotional states we are breathing from the Chest. When our breath is smooth and flows from inhale to exhale, on inhale the lower belly expands and on exhale the belly falls (the chest doesn’t move much at all) we are relaxed.
In each breath there is a micro version of cyclical existance…. there is an expansion & contraction. As there is in every day with the rising of the sun is the beginning of the in-breath, the peak of the day the height to the expansion, drop over into the contraction of the afternoon into the night and then the deepest contraction in the dead of night. We see this cycle in our days, our working week our monthly cycle with the moon, our yearly cycles with the seasons and in the cycle of our whole life. Of course this is just a tiny micro of the the cycles of the ancient civilisations, the life of the planets, the stars, the entire cosmos.
But yet we have all this in every seemly insignificant breath…. be conscious of your breathe, Every-Thing is in your breath.
I used this talk (below) by Matt Khan on last years Bali retreat, and it is a lovely example that all we are is breath.