“Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a refusal to become anything less than infinite.” ~ D. Antoinette Foy
Breathing is the secret to being.
If you want to learn how to be, you’ve got to learn how to breathe. Conscious breathing also has a host of other benefits. According to R. Christian Minson, Resident Director of the Breathwork Program at Rythmia Life Advancement Center who has been leading transformational breathwork classes for over a decade, there are five main reasons why changing your breath can change your entire life.
1. Deep breathing promotes physical vitality
Oxygen is our number one energy source. All cells work better with it. You can pump your cells full of fuel through food and other resources, but if you don’t have enough oxygen in your body, it won’t work effectively. The more energy a cell gains through oxygen, the more those cells are able do their respective jobs, such as protecting your body against foreign invaders. A well-oxygenated body can fight off disease like a ninja warrior.
2. Oxygen provides defense against anaerobic diseases
Anaerobic diseases are ones that thrive while oxygen is absent — like cancer. According to Minson, the average person breathes at 20 percent of their natural capacity, a contributing factor to why cancer has become so rampant. In 1936, Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine by showing that cancer cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. There is evidence that oxygen has a repellent effect on cancer cells.
3. Breathing balances emotions
Part of the human condition is that we store our emotions when they are not fully expressed. Whenever we experience an emotion, our brain creates neuropeptides, which are molecules of emotional energy. If that emotion isn’t expressed properly, the neuropeptide created attaches to the walls of our cells.
“Unexpressed emotions never die they just re-emerge in darker and uglier ways,” said psychotherapy pioneer, Sigmund Freud. And as long as we are holding onto them, these repressed emotions affect the choices we make, the relationships we get into, the opportunities we’re accepting or not. One of the primary ways neuropeptides get released is through conscious breathing techniques that restore a person to a sense of emotional wellbeing. If you tend to be overly emotional, your emotions become more manageable. If you tend to be under emotional, you begin to feel more.
4. Breathing helps create deep spiritual connectedness
This is a more esoteric benefit of breathwork. And you’ve got to understand that the concept of prana/life force energy to be able to fathom it. According to yogis throughout the ages, prana is what runs our being on an energetic level. We distill prana from the food, liquids and air we intake. Of the three different sources, oxygen has the most abundant amount of prana. It’s also the easiest for the body to distill.
As we bring more oxygen into our body, we also increase the amount of this intelligent energy inside of us that brings our being to life. The more prana we can bring into our being, the more we can quantifiably increase our relationship to our spirit. This can help us to act and live in more intuitive harmony with the natural flow of the universe, which results in a deeper sense of peace, bliss, belongingness, and purpose on the planet.
5. Breathwork enhances intuition & creativity
The other benefit of increasing the amount of prana in your body is that this energy, that fuels creation itself, that brings us to life, also inspires us to act on a creative level. Whether that’s through artistic means, business solutions or creative problem solving, breathwork can also ignite your inner genius and help you become more successful in your worldly endeavors.