How long can your body survive without food?
About four to six weeks.
How long can you survive without water? Give or take a few days, the average person will last about a week.
How long can you hold your breath before you keel over and kick the bucket?
Well, I’m not going to test it, but reports suggest between 3-6 minutes without oxygen and then the average person will suffer brain damage or death.
Seems to me that there’s a bit of clue here about just how important breathing is! Without food or water, you’ve got time up your sleeve. Go see a movie, pop in on some friends, do some washing…… but without breath for a few minutes, well, it’s pretty much lights out.
Of course, it’s obvious that breath is essential. Without oxygen, we are nothing. Breath is life.
Many years ago I attended a breath workshop and I was fascinated to learn from the trainer that the latin word for breath is “spiritus”. I remember thinking how beautifully perfect that was and of course it made so much sense! I’d experienced times in my life, and maybe you have too, when I had consciously connected through breath work to my spirit, that inexplicable life force within and around us. How much more alive and connected I felt in those moments. This is just one of the reasons that I make breath work part of my daily practice now.
You’ve probably also noticed how intimately connected your breathing is to your emotions and moods. How dull and lifeless you can feel when you’re not breathing properly. Ever noticed how when you’re angry, upset or in a panic, your breathing rate speeds up and can be shallow and irregular? And conversely, when you’re relaxed, calm and happy your breathing will be slow, even and gentle.
And as mBIT Coaches, it’s foundation is in the power of breath. A particular kind of breath work called balanced breathing. An even, diaphragmatic breath of approximately six seconds in and six seconds out will lead to coherence and balance of your autonomic nervous system and your three brains.
How? Well, it begins in the powerful heart brain. Simply put, when you consciously take control of your breathing in this very specific way, you can balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic arms of your autonomic nervous system, which results in balanced and coherent Heart Rate Variability. Coherence balances your heart, mind and emotions and ultimately, through resonance, your gut and head brains will then follow.
The outcome? All three of your brains in high coherence and balance.In this state you will feel incredibly relaxed, your mind chatter quiets down and any stress you may have previously been feeling floats off more and more with every breath you take.
Sound good? Well, what’s even better is that this simple yet extremely powerful technique, which literally happens in less than five minutes when you know how, is the key that unlocks the innate wisdom of your multiple brains. So much magic and wisdom lies inside each and every human being. When we reach this place of coherence and balance, now we can go to work to access the wisdom that resides inside.
So until next time, take some time to practice this technique of balanced breathing. And while you practice, here’s an idea to reflect on. The Native American Indians believe that life enters the body when the baby takes his first breath, rather than at the actual moment of birth.
And so just as the breath bridges the world of heaven and earth for the newborn baby, your breath is the bridge between your mind and body, your spirit and your physical self.