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In Chinese Medicine Qi (energy) follows Shen (spirit) and Xue or blood (bodily health) follows Qi; this is to say that the more substantial elements follow the least substantial qualities.
A skew at the spiritual level can then distort the energy of the body, which you can think of as the flow of energy, thoughts and feelings, and this can over time lead to a stagnation of deficiency pattern within the physical body or organs.
What is powerful about this is that breath can shift everything and move you into health. How you interact with your breath is the key.
Attention to the breath and breathing in a flowing, focused, relaxed way can assist you in righting an energetic mind and/or body imbalance. Holding your breath interferes with this flowing process; breath holding can create stagnation and blockage. Shallow breathing can diminish your access to your inner strength, your inner Qi (energy) or Blood (bodily processes). It is restricting, and overtime can lead to a diminishment of your inner knowing and experience of your inner strength.
The breath is powerful in a beautiful and subtle way; it shifts the makeup of you. Breath can change your heartbeat, your blood pressure, your experience of pain, and your availability to inner guidance and spiritual joy. Breath opens the doors to compassion, love, and forgiveness. Conscious, intentional breathing increases your access to your center and creates a space for you to cultivate peace and strength.
Following your breath with curiosity, interest, compassion, and allowing acceptance provides you with a deep capacity for powerful self-knowledge, and self-love.
Breath is a major component of many meditative traditions. This is because it brings the practitioner into the present moment, into body, into mind, into spirit and intention. It is centering.
Breath is essential to Yoga practice. Focused integrated breathing creates an opportunity to move through previous blocks and previous stagnant ways of thinking and being. Focused breathing creates space anew; it creates a continual new birth into your new self.
Breath directs attention - thoughts, energy, form and spirit.
It is profoundly healing.
Think of what a mother says to her child when she is crying uncontrollably, "it's okay, take a breath, that's it, just slow down your breathing" as that mother comforts her child.
Or when in fear a person holds their breath - this action stops and stagnates energy.
Or consider in childbirth the focused breathing practiced to assist a mother through the pain of delivery.
Or in athletic endeavors how focused breathing allows the athlete to move through emotional and physical blocks to complete the race or event. Each of these examples describes the effect of breath.
Create a habit of cultivating inner peace though following your breath.
Use your sensory guidance system in conjunction with focused breathing to cultivate inner peace through following your breath by simply attending to what you feel and then breathing in a focused way into that space allowing what you feel to release or shift. If your intention is self-love and cultivating peace you will, as a beautiful side effect, create internal harmony and health.
Use focused rhythmic breathing in response to anxiety, frustration, fear, anger, pain, and any obstructive or stuck experience. You will discover the by-product of this will be increased awareness and understanding, inner peace, acceptance, forgiveness, letting-go, and a return to balance, to center.
Breath is a subtle destroyer of obstruction, opening the space for creation, healing, and flow.
Focus your breath and you can change any situation, be in harmony, and cultivate inner peace.