How many times do we breathe in and out during 24 hours?
Approximately 20,000 times.
The Breath of Life
Everyday, each of us breathes approximately
twenty thousand times. We will take approximately a hundred
million breaths before we stop breathing. Breathing is so important
and pivotal to our survival that not breathing means we are dead.
Such an important function should be respected and glorified, but most of
us barely even notice it. We just assume it's natural to breathe
properly and leave it at that.
seem logical to assume our bodies will ensure we breathe in the correct and
most beneficial manner. It seems logical as long as we don't include
all the restrictions we place on our bodies. We know our bodies
start out breathing correctly. It's what happens after that that
causes the problems.
of us are born with the ability to breathe deeply and well. Watch a happy baby breathing to witness the true art of
breathing deeply. We
naturally breathe in and out in a rhythmic flow, completely filling our
lungs and completely releasing leftover toxins.
bodies are born specifically designed to fill our lungs with our in-breath,
and then spend slightly longer breathing out. The longer out-breath ensures the removal of
toxins. We are supposed to be discharging 70% of our body's toxins through
breathing. When we don't, which is most of the time, other parts of our body have to start
working overtime to fulfil the same function. This over-exertion
can mean an earlier breakdown of those same body parts.
Most of us regularly
have stale air
sitting in the base of our lungs, often for days at a time, due to our restricted breathing.
habit of breathing badly usually begins in childhood. We
breathe fully and naturally when we are babies but by the time we
reach our twenties, we are breathing in and out in a decidedly constricted
we are taught to hold back our thoughts and feelings, we are being taught
to breathe in a constricted manner. Rather than learning to breathe
into our pains and emotions and release them, we are usually taught to
"suck it in" and hold onto our concerns. Our bodies start to continually
tense in certain places. Every individual body has its own
preferences for storage of tension, and every tension in our bodies is a constriction
on our breathing.
time, and consistent constrictions, we breathe less and less. We
no longer use our lungs to their full capacity. We become shallow
is the main cause for shallow breathing. Tensions accumulate, over
throughout our bodies and minds, restricting our muscles and
we gain more tensions. If we do nothing about releasing those
tensions, they accumulate and keep us in a perpetual state of stress.
stress is amplified by our inadequate breathing. Shallow breathing
means less oxygen is circulating throughout our bodies. It also
means more carbon dioxide and toxins are accumulating in our systems.
adults only use a third of their lung's capacity. We take shallow
breaths in, and then neglect to breathe out fully. Many people have
stale air stagnating in their lungs for days before finally releasing a full
breathing is not good for us. It makes us cranky, and slow witted
and saps our confidence. It stuns our strength and it depletes our
health. It takes away our
self-esteem and sharp minds. It drugs us with toxins
and compromises our immune systems.
is not Natural
Short, shallow breaths mean more short shallow breaths are needed to
achieve sufficient oxygen intake. Shallow breathers need to breathe
more often to make up for the lack of depth in their air consumption.
Their breathing is more relatively rapid, but it is still shallow. They rarely get around to
filling up more than the top third of their lungs, and they rarely expel
all the stale air that has settled to the bottom of their lungs.
breathing is extremely common, yet it is detrimental to our health in a
most fundamental way. It greatly reduces the amount of oxygen in our
bloodstream but fails to reduce the level of carbon dioxide. Our
bodies are not meant to work under those conditions.
excess of carbon dioxide in our bloodstream causes a constriction of the
blood vessels throughout the entire body. Our brains, and everywhere
else in our bodies, receive less oxygen than is needed for optimum physical,
mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Are How We Breathe
way we breathe affects our entire physical, mental, emotional and
Shallow breaths only fill the top third of the lungs, where there is the
least amount of blood flow. The rate of blood-flow in the top third
of our lungs is less than a tenth of a litre per minute.
The rate of blood-flow for
the bottom of our lungs is well over a litre per minute. The bottom of the lungs, where we are
blood-flow rich, can only be reached with a deep, full breath.
and time teach us to create an unnatural, but very powerful habit of shallow breathing.
It is not an easy habit to break. Like any long term bad habit, it
requires patience and persistence to replace the negative with the
Fortunately, because The Art of Breathing
Deeply is a natural skill, it is well within all of our
capabilities. It is "simple" for us. It merely needs to be practiced into a
habit ... in
exactly the same way we learnt the art-of-breathing-badly.
Every day we need to give
our self the
gift of life and happiness, and practise breathing deeply. The more
we practise, the more oxygen and self-esteem we will be giving our body
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