Do you know that breathing is the only physiological function which is both voluntary and involuntary?
This means that breathing can be controlled consciously by the mind or it can be allowed to function automatically like other physiological processes like digestion under the control of the body’s central nervous system. Breathing is therefore an important bridge between the mind and the body and can influence them both.
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Breathing is synonymous with life itself – this is the first thing we do at birth and the last thing we do when we exit this body. Breathing is important to sustain life. Yet, this natural process is often compromised by our environmental conditions, past conditioning or traumatic experiences.
From the Human Developmental Patterns developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it states that the breathing pattern is the template for all other movement patterns and states of consciousness, any distortion at this level of the human being affects all other physical, physiological and psychological processes. Many modern scientists are now discovering what the yogis have known for thousands of years – i.e. yoga movement and breathing techniques increase our lung capacity and efficiency. After having worked on breathing for more than 10 years, I absolutely concur with this truth. For these reasons, the breathing pattern is the first thing I work on with my students because fundamentally breathing connects them to the most basic life process and therefore with themselves.
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