BREATH.How deeply do you breathe? Are you using the full potential of your lungs?
In one day, you take about 20,000 breaths. Breath is the life force (prana) and energy (ki) that moves through your body. In many cultures, it is seen as a portal to the soul. On a practical level, breath is life. Life begins with the first breath and ends with the last. The average person can go without food for several weeks, without liquids for several days. But if you close off the oxygen supply to the brain for four minutes, you could die.
Everyone breathes, but not everyone takes in the same amount of oxygen. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can take in seven times more oxygen than in shallow, chest breathing. It can also release stress, focus the mind, build energy, ease physical problems, help manage pain, and aid in weight loss. A five percent increase in your breath capacity can increase the efficiency of your body a thousand-fold.
Breathing is the only automatic vital life function we can voluntarily control, deliberately affecting the autonomic nervous system, as well as emotions. Take time to learn how to breathe effectively, and you will improve the quality of your entire life.
"Breathing is the only automatic vital life function we can voluntarily control, deliberately affecting the autonomic nervous system, as well as emotions."
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy is President of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. and Founder of PWR Brokers Incorporated. A former vice president at MTV Networks, she has a Ph.D. in World Religions, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and certifications in Holistic Health, Yoga and Fitness. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 212-901-6913.
Power Living® Column Vol. 19.03, originally published Week of August 31, 2003. Terri Kennedy has written over 70 "The Power of..." columns that are available for syndication. Call 212-901-6913 for more information.