As a yoga instructor, I remind my students to consciously focus on their breath throughout their practice. Of course we breathe, we don't have to focus to do it and our body is designed to breathe automatically. In fact the average person takes about 22,000 breaths every day, or over 7.5 million breaths each year and most of us don't give breathing a second thought. Yet without our breath there is no life. I will never forget the first cry and amazing welcoming sound of my children, to know that they were breathing. When we get stressed or nervous we are told to take a few deep breaths and when something incredible happens we say it takes our breath away. Breath equals life.
In yoga, our breath is called prana, or life force. The more we take in, the more life force, joy and alive we feel. It is an amazing tool to help us stay calm, focused and alive. You cannot breath for the past or the future but right here, right now.
People have shared with me that at times of stress or illness or even when training for a race, they have remember these words from yoga practice ~ to breathe and stay present. I also need to remind myself as well!
We certainly most of the time take our breathing for granted. But what if we took a few moments every day to simply just breathe?