Heart vs. Breath

“What keeps us alive ?”

That was the question the yoga teacher put before the class.

“The heart,” I thought. We cannot live without our heart beating and moving blood throughout our body.

“The Breath,” he responded.

That moment was the beginning of a major shift in my self awareness.

I had been living my life with my heart. I had allowed my emotions to rule my life. Some wise person, I wish I could recall who, wrote recently that emotions are not facts. But that was how I had been living my life, by the whim of each emotion that presented itself, as though those emotions were my truth.

Breath is something that you can control. The mind regulates the breath. The mind chooses when you inhale and when you will exhale. You may be thinking… breath is something that we do without thinking. It can be. Breathing can be a mindless function of the body.

But what if you took the time to watch your breath? What if you sat still and watched it go deeper into your belly and then released it slower than it came in?

With practice you will feel the benefits of the breath. You can harness it and move it where it needs to go. Breathing in, gives us nourishing oxygen, breathing out, we release carbon dioxide that benefits other life forms on the planet. This process mirrors how we live. We take in life as it happens, as we make it happen, we then release from our minds and bodies what we no longer need.

You do not need to be reactive to the heart, to the emotions that are constantly changing and demanding your attention. You can look into those emotions, distinguish what is valid and then let the breath relinquish what no longer serves you.


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