Breath is the super power that connects a person to themself, another person and the planet. Conscious breathing starts on the mat. Diaphragmatic breathing increases awareness of inner body sensations. Alternate nostril breathing calms the body, breath of fire energizes the body and ujjayi or victory breath strengthens the body. By the end of a yoga practice, the mind is calm and the body at peace with conscious breathing.
As you leave the mat, a lightness abounds creating a connection to others perhaps with those you shared your practice, family, friends, or in a social interaction. You feel open, positive and ready to enjoy the moment.
However, conscious breathing is also a guide in stressful situations. If you remember to stop, take a deep breath, let out the air and take another breath, you gradually refocus the mind and body. This increases oxygen at a cellular level, heals and reframes situations. Regular yoga practice keeps you grounded, brings you to the present, helps you process events, let go and move forward. The same applies to difficulty sleeping. Take a deep breath, focus on exhaling and think of the breath moving through the crown of the head, face, shoulders and arms. Take another breath and imagine the exhaled air moving through the chest, abdomen, hips, legs and feet. Soon you could be off to a night of restful sleep.
Breath has become front and center during the COVID-19 pandemic. The body needs protection from another's breath with a mask to be safe. The virus is a matter of life and breath. Once again breath matters.
The body and mind are bridged to each another by the breath. At a deeper level, the breath is the one thing that connects all humans throughout the planet. In addition it connects humans to animals and plants. If you look at the breath as a means of connection, you can better serve others and create more light in the world around you.