The Breath: Your Natural Guide into Spirit
Apr 02, 2016 01:45AM
By Deanne Mincer
Do you know that you have always carried the key into spirit? From the time you were born and until you leave this world, that guiding gift has been with you every single minute. You have access to this powerful tool and can use it more than 23,000 times a day. It is the breath, something you may take for granted. But, if you fine tune it, your breath can lead you into peace, love and the truth of your own being—your divine self.
We always have the breath with us. Even if it is for a few minutes or longer, you can choose at any time to check in with yourself.
• Notice how you are breathing. Witness the breath.
• Are you breathing in the upper chest (stress breathing) or deeper into the diaphragm?
• Are you breathing through your nose and not through the mouth?
• Is the breath jerky and agitated or is it smooth and flowing?
• When you inhale, does the belly fill up? When you exhale, does the belly go in? The reverse of this is contrary breathing and not to be desired.
• Is the breath even while inhaling and exhaling?
• Do you hold your breath and stop breathing, thus producing stress and creating a lack of oxygen?
These are some of the basic essentials to healthy breathing. Also of importance is training yourself to be aware of “fight and flight” breathing; when you breathe rapidly and into your chest, that is a signal that you are in fight/flight or feel in danger. Unless you are being chased by a wild animal, you don’t want to breathe like this because it wears out the body.
The problem is that many of us breathe as if we are in danger because of what we think. Moving your breath into the diaphragm can help you “trick” your body into letting go of the stressed breathing when thoughts about losing a job, becoming ill, being late and so many other fears can trigger you to “fight and flight” breathing. The benefit is a calmer self.
When you are faced with an emergency or potentially life-altering scenario, your body and mind can enter fight/flight even if you have already trained and mastered the many breathing techniques. Stopping yourself and paying attention to your breath can help you regain more control and make clearer decisions. In addition, your anxiety or fears will be less palpable to others that may be involved in the emergency situation.
The way you breathe has power, but what about using it to reach into spirit, into peace and even enlightenment?
• Imagine that whenever you breathe in, the breath carries within it divine light and love and it spreads throughout your body. When you breathe out, the breath carries away fear, illness, pain and worry.
• Now add a color to the breath, maybe one of the higher chakra colors, such as blue or violet. Imagine that color moving through your body.
• Try coordinating the breath with mantras or words—such as a “so ham”, “om”, “I love myself completely now” or “let go”—on every in and out breath.
• You can stop in your day and, for a few minutes, do this or let it be a part of your meditation practice.
• Remember that the breath is a favorite focus for many forms of meditation—simply watching the breath and without judgment.
Yoga offers many different breathing exercises—some that calm the body and others that energize. You might want to try them by finding a yoga teacher who has training in this.
Deanne Mincer is a speaker, the author of The 52: Discovering the True You in 52 Simple Lessons and the co-creator of the Divine Love: A Unique Yoga Nidra Experience album. She teaches classes, including A Course in Miracles, and offers private healing sessions in Ridgefield. Connect with her at
DeanneMincer.com. See ad, page 51.