It all comes down to our breath. As odd as that sounds, it is true. Breath is Life. Did you know that we can live up to a month without food, a week without water, three to four days without sleep, but only three to four minutes without breathing. All the cells in our body require oxygen. Without it, they couldn’t move, build, reproduce and turn food into energy. Our inhalation brings in fresh oxygen needed to fuel our cells and our exhalation releases the waste products our body cannot make use of and if not expelled would be toxic.
Did you know that our 1st breath as we emerge from our mother’s womb is an exhale and the last breath we take as we let go of life, is an exhale. That is because our exhales are about letting go, making room and creating space. When we are stressed or anxious, we tend to hold our breath while holding on to stress and tension.
I just spent a week on the beach and was reminded at how it invites you to breath with it. Exhaling as the tide goes out and inhaling as the tide comes in. It’s natural rhythm is alluring and I believe that it is the reason so many of us are transformed by being in its presence. Just being near the ocean, resets our breath to its natural state.
The ocean invites us to breath with it. Letting go of the old, worn out thoughts, worries, troubles, angst with each exhale and clearing the way. The inhale is fresh, vibrant,life-giving and unencumbered and opens the mind to new possibilities while freeing it from old stressed out ways of thinking.
I love practicing this breath even without the ocean. It’s simple- just follow these 4 steps.
1. Imagine the Ocean– use a photo or capture the picture in your mind’s eye.
2. Involve your senses…Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, the sand between your toes and the smell of salt water.
3. Now hear the waves coming in and going out…gently align your exhale with the waves going out and picture letting go of whatever you are gripping by allowing it to be carried out into the ocean and completely dissipate. Once the exhale is complete and the lungs feel cleared out…Inhale with the tide coming in. Envision inhaling the radiant beauty of the ocean and its vast freedom.
4. Exhale & Inhale with the ocean waves 7 x or until you feel that your breath has expanded and your energy is enhanced.
Return to this practice any time you notice yourself stressing and holding your breath and come back into sync with your natural life- giving rhythm.