Anatomy Of Breathing

Anatomy of BreathingThere are many great benefits to simply breathing, in fact it is the good health and vitality, but before you can really utilize this wonderful tool you have to understand how the muscles in your body work.

Your body has inside of it smooth muscles and skeletal muscles. Smooth muscles are involuntary. For example, your intestines are smooth muscles. You don’t have to tell your food how to digest your body does it automatically for you. Your heart is a smooth muscle. It beats all day long involuntarily without you telling it to beat and pump the blood.

You also have muscles that are skeletal which are those under voluntary control. For example, your arm is a skeletal muscle. You can say to yourself, “I am going to lift my arm now” and you do it. Or you could say, “I’m going to pick up a glass of water” and you pick up the glass of water. That’s how skeletal muscles work. You tell the muscle what to do and it does it.

You also have muscles that are both smooth and skeletal. The best example of this would be your diaphragm. You can breathe all day long involuntarily without any attention or awareness on it. When you go to sleep you don’t have to tell yourself to breathe in and out, it is controlled involuntarily by the brain.

You can also deliberately put your breath under your conscious control. For example, you can say “I’m going to breathe in, hold my breath for two seconds and then breathe out.” In this case your breath is under your complete and conscious control.

The reason why this is so important is because the breath is a doorway between the conscious and subconscious mind. You can breathe involuntarily and when you take those smooth muscles that are involuntary and turn them voluntary, what you are doing is bringing your conscious mind into present awareness.

When you place your conscious awareness on breathing a deep inhalation and then exhaling  you deliberately calm your breath. When you do this you are telling your body to relax. Your body then begins to produce hormones that let you know to relax, that you are at ease. Your mind begins to quiet, your heart begins to slow and there is a chemical reaction in the body that puts it in as state of peace. This happens because your breath has been deliberately calmed.

We have many unconscious patterns that sit in our breath. We are often in unconscious states of fear. We wake up in the morning and instantaneously our agendas, our problems, our suffering immediately descend upon us and our breath takes on these patterns that get stuck in our body.

When we counteract these unconscious states of fear by deliberately breathing into a calm natural easy breath, when we interact with these patterns by calming our breath, we begin to become aware of those habitual patterns. Then we replace those patterns of fear with calm and relaxation that are under our conscious control.

This is the process of Yoga and purification. When we learn to deliberately calm our breath and instill the relaxation response in the body we start to unearth some of the habitual patterns of fear that have been negatively impacting our life and keeping us from connecting with our spirit.

Breathing is the process of relaxation, becoming more conscious and connecting with our spirit.

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