Just Breathe!

As Eddie Vedder says "Just breathe"... This is one of my favorite songs, not just because I can listen to it again & again, but because it reminds me how much I love to breathe with those I love. It is also a great reminder for our health: Just breathe!

If you don't know what I am talking about, comedian Jon Lajoie has a great infomercial about the importance of breathing. My wellness friends can always tell when I am stressed. They looks right at me, says "Breathe Bonita!" and takes a few breaths with me to make sure I again become fully oxygenated. Thank you so much for that, Loving Community! I guess we all sometimes need help to calm down and release the little chest tightening stresses of every day living.

Aside from the loving, relaxing, romantic, sexual and comedic reasons for breathing... Don't forget our primary need for oxygen - from our skin and lungs down to our cellular level. Even our molecules & atoms need us to breathe! Breathing keeps your blood oxygenated so it can pump & flow through your body. Well oxygenated blood also helps your body distribute and absorb your vitamins, especially Vitamins C, D & the Bs. Vitamins A & K (found in the same food as C, D & Bs) help your blood maintain it's oxygen levels. A symbiotic relationship if ever I saw one! These vitamins are also key with maintaining your physical health and emotional well being in the cold & dark months of winter. I personally find this amazing! Our bodies know better than we do that breathing well helps us live well.

The other thing about breathing deeply & fully is that it helps maintain your lung health. When you breathe shallowly, you only use the portion of your lungs closest to your trachea & bronchus. The exterior part, the part that all the mucus likes to settle into, becomes weak and dirty, covered with hardening mucus and easily infected nodules. Shallow breathing makes you more susceptible to colds, viruses, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc... Like any muscle, use it or lose it! We really have to work harder at this in the winter than the summer.

Another interesting thing about breathing fully: If you maintain a "core" posture, you are all set to breathe well. You back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.

Besides the "added health value", breathing well is relaxing! One reason cigarette smokers are more hooked during times of stress is that when they inhale the smoke, they breathe deeply. Don't get me started on WHAT they are breathing deeply... or about the physically addictive values of smoking. There is a lot of interesting information about it... but for this piece, just think about the tricky (not always healthful) ways our bodies get us to breathe even when we don't want to. Also remember this: Hey Smokers! You don't need the cigarette! JUST BREATHE! Your body will thank you later.

PLUS: Bonita's article for Natural Awakenings Magazine: One Breath at a Time


We have a primary need for oxygen—from our skin and lungs down to our  cellular level. Even our molecules and atoms need us to breathe, Breathing keeps blood oxygenated so it can pump and flow through the body. Well-oxygenated blood also helps the body distribute and absorb vitamins, especially vitamins C, D and the B’s. Vitamins A and K (found in the same food as C, D and B’s) help your blood maintain its oxygen levels.
What a wonderfully symbiotic relationship. These vitamins are also key with maintaining your physical health and emotional well-being in the cold and dark months of winter. How amazing! Our bodies know better than we do that breathing well helps us live well.
Breathing deeply and fully helps maintain your lung health. When you breathe shallowly, you only use the portion of your lungs closest to your trachea and bronchus. The exterior part, the part that all the mucus likes to settle into, becomes weak and dirty, covered with hardening mucus and easily infected nodules. Shallow breathing makes you more susceptible to colds, viruses, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc… Like any muscle, use it or lose it. We really have to work harder at this in the winter than the summer.
Another interesting thing about breathing fully: If you maintain a “core” posture, you are all set to breathe well. Your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed. Especially in times of stress, it is important to breath fully, deeply and slowly. This keeps the “fight or flight” prone adrenaline at bay and allows your body to remain in a relaxed state of full focus.
On a Spiritual note, whether you are practicing yoga breaths or shamanic breathing, you will find kindred purposes for these deep breath techniques. When you inhale deeply, you send oxygen to every cell in your body. By holding our breath, you give your body a chance to absorb this oxygen and discharge accumulated debris and carbon dioxide. A slow exhale allows for full body release of these toxins before your next cleansing breath is begun. Deep and full body breathing is literally and exactly that.
A lovely breath meditation is to think of all the plants that provide us with life-preserving oxygen. Our air is a gift from them, filling each breath is love and blessings form nature. As we exhale carbon dioxide, we return the blessings by providing our plant brethren with their life affirming breath. This is a loving and symbiotic relationship that fills all participants with the Breath of Life.