Just because you are breathing doesn’t mean you’re alive

Andrew Weil says that if he could only teach his patients one thing, it would be breathing. You might think – i can breathe or i’d be dead – what’s the big deal. Truth is, most of us are shallow breathers.


Breathing well can make profound changes in the way we feel. Kundalini yoga has some great breathing techniques to encourage lymphatic circulation in the chest. You will be surprised at how profound a few of these changes can be.


Try it now.

Put your hands on your belly, take ten deep slow breaths. Feel your belly rise and fall. As you breathe out, push the air out of your lungs. Use your stomach muscles and tighten your ribcage to get all the air out. The in breath happens easily and naturally. Fill your whole chest and belly with air. Repeat this process. There is no need to hold your breath, just breathe easily and rhythmically. Imagine breathing beauty, wellness or love into your being. Feel your body draw nourishment from the breath.

To go faster, (after you are comfortable with the slow breathing) start slow and speed up. Push the air out of your body using the stomach muscles. This breath takes longer to become comfortable. Start slow. Begin with five fast breaths, then ten, and build up your strength. You could work up to a full minute. It is great and you will feel very energized! If you feel dizzy, stop. And please, don’t do this fast deep breathing while you drive.

After we breathe, sit quietly for a few seconds.

Once you get comfortable with breathing, imagine that it is not just oxygen coming into your body, but nourishing, loving energy. Life force, Chi, Prana, Spirit, Love – or whatever name you use.

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