As You Breathe, So Shall You Live

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As You Breathe, So Shall You Live18 Sep 2007, 0001 hrs IST,Linesh Sheth for TIMES OF INDIA

The simplest way to build a harmonious relationship with life is to develop a loving, joyful and a friendly relationship with your breath. Understand your breath, its ways of working and develop a friendly relationship with it. Breath is the carrier of vital life force within us that makes our body-mind organisation function and survive.

If you look at breath as life itself, your landscape will change. The love, sanctity and value you give to this great spontaneous phenomenon called ‘breathing’ will tend to completely change the way you breathe. Then if you breathe slowly, just 20 times with a smile, your eyes closed, you will experience deep within a feeling of joy in all those organs where you perceive the smooth touch of breath.

When you look at your breath as if it were your constant and unfailing friend, that quality of relationship brings about a profound change in any breathing method you practise. You will soon realise that the way you breathe, is the way you live. This is how complex life turns simple.

Eight factors that change your relationship to life with reference to the way you breathe are: the flow of breath you allow in your body, the pace with which you breathe, the rhythm you follow, the number of times you breathe or frequency of breath, body posture you hold while breathing, vibrations you produce, the attention and serenity with which you breathe, and finally, your sensitivity to experience the touch of breath in every organ it touches as you breathe.

The way you learn to synchronise all these aspects into one compact process of breathing is what will change your relationship with your body and mind. It is simply profound as well as profoundly simple.

You will begin to like yourself as you feel the pleasing, calming sensation deep breath brings about. You will experience a deep sense of undisturbed peace within. When you pay attention to the beauty with which life rests within you, for the first time, you will experience what it is to feel alive.

Our relationship with breath tends to be simple, direct and proportionate. So if you breathe slowly and attentively you feel the touch of breath as you breathe in and out. You will experience a deep sense of peace.

If you breathe with great satisfaction, you will feel the grace of life. When you breathe selectively into each of your organs like kidneys, intestines, heart or head and feel the touch of breath, you will experience great healing. How many times you breathe and how regularly you do it directly decides the proportion of well being you will feel.

If you think of life as a great struggle, or the world as a battlefield where you have to compete with and overcome others, you will turn yourself into a warrior who has no room for peace or reconciliation in life. Then if you seek freedom or happiness, you will look for it beyond this life, not while you are living. The world that appears outside you is in fact a reflection, a mirror image, of how you feel within.

A simple way of changing the way you feel is to learn how to change your relationship with life in your daily half-hour breathing session. You will soon experience that as you breathe, so shall you live.

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