The way you breathe can tell you a lot about yourself. What does your breathing pattern say about you? How can you consciously shift patterns for greater health and wellbeing?
It’s so fun to notice what our breathing patterns are, and you might be surprised at what you learn when you put your attention to it.
First, there is no right or wrong way to breathe. The key is to recognize that your breath is a reflection of how you have adapted to what life has put in front of you, and how you continue to adapt in every moment. These adaptations are expressed in the ways that we breathe.
There are breathing patterns associated with certain diseases and health conditions, like diabetes and stroke, for example. Also, our breathing patterns change with deep rest or meditation. Our breath can show us so much! There is even a study showing sniffer dogs to be able to reliably detect lung cancer from the breath of patients. An acupuncture treatment can affect a change in your breathing pattern, slowing the breath down to a calm state.
Our breath brings us into our body, and noticing it provides a path to deeper understanding of ourselves and our environment.
Your body is the doorway to being in the present moment.
The moment is the doorway to being present.
Being present is the doorway to the inner self.
Here is an exercise for you to try. Take a moment and pay attention to the way that you are breathing right now. Notice three things in particular:
Location: Where does your breath go easily, naturally for you? What areas is it hard for your breath to reach?
Rhythm: What is the rhythmic pattern of your breath? Does it feel like a push? A pull? Does it have a pause? If so, where does that pause happen? When you inhale? Exhale?
Quality: Is your breathing light or heavy? Does it begin quietly or with a strong burst or gasp
There is value in simply noticing these things. What did you notice?
Connecting with your breathing pattern, whatever it may be, is a step to connecting with the vastness that is you. In that place of connection, you have a great power to command change, and create a different story about yourself if you wish. You can affect the way you perceive yourself.
Your breath can illuminate pathways for you Try this:
Connect to the feeling of being present with yourself, how it feels when you have “seen” yourself. Feel it in your body, and in your emotions.
Let an image form inside your mind that represents this feeling. Explore the image in detail. See it. Hear it. Touch it.
Establish a dialogue with the image and let that conversation unfold. Ask the image what name it wishes to be addressed as. Let thoughts or ideas or images come up as they will, and notice them. They may be information for you—a bubbling up of your inner wisdom.
We hope you enjoy playing with these exercises and noticing what your breath has to say to you.