Thursday, 2 June 2011


Breath is such a beautiful thing. It is one thing that keeps going, whether we think about it or not. It nourishes us, strengthens us, keeps us alive as we sleep. It can be deep and rich, it can be shallow and rapid, it can be soft and relaxed. We can feel it in our belly when we're relaxed, pulling deep rich breaths into our body. We can feel it in our upper chests when we're nervous, tense, or stressed. Puppies and babies breathe in their tummies, because they haven't yet learned about stress and fear and the need to be on guard all the time. We stressed-out-oh-so-responsible-got-to-take-on-the-world adults need to take a lesson from puppies and babies, and regain that deep, relaxing, soothing breath. It allows our nervous system to quiet and our mind to calm.

Wonderfully, breath is an amazing tool to bring ourselves to quietness, to bring our awareness to this very moment, to practice mindfulness. If we took time each day, even for only a few moments, to sit and feel our breath, to simply notice where our breath is in our body, or to feel the air as it passes in and out of our nostrils, we would notice a shift in our being. A quietness. A gentle awareness. A knowing that everything is ok, if only for this moment. And perhaps we begin to feel grateful, for this gentle part of our body that works so well, with no attention from us.

Today, I celebrate my breath. For it keeps me alive. It is my very life force, prana in sanskrit. And it brings my mind to a quiet place, a still place. Here are some of my favourite quotes, in celebration of the breath today :)

A lifetime is not what is between
the moments of birth and death.
A lifetime is one moment
Between my two little breaths.
The present, the here, the now,
That's all the life I get.
I live each moment in full,
In kindness, in peace, without regret.
Chade Meng, Taoist poet

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.
Conscious breathing is my anchor.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady.
But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still,
and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Today, take a moment to notice your breath. Simply sit, simply be, simply breathe. Namaste.

1 comment:

  1. such great wisdom, a.
    thank you.

    breathing is so very precious. thanks for reminding us to cherish it!