8,409,600 Breaths

Every year, you will take over 8 million breaths. Breath sustains life. Your body can survive for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but only 3 minutes without breath.

Breathing is life – when you stop breathing you are dead.

Our bodies breathe without thought – automatically and autonomously and often forgotten.

Your breath is an external gauge of your body and your mind. Shallow breaths when nervous, long deep breaths when relaxed. Fast breaths during exertion and slow breaths during meditation.

Stress and anxiety cause shallow rapid breaths, while relaxation, yoga, and meditation encourage deep sustaining belly breathing.

Return to the movement of the breath while meditating or relaxing. Feel the natural rhythm, the depth, the quality of the air as your lungs expand and contract – feel the cool air being drawn in and the warm air leaving the body. Learn that trying to control your breath will lead to anxiety – let it be as it is.

Be in the moment. Be aware of your breath, listen to what it says.

TAKEAWAY: With each in-breath, you become part of the universe; with each out-breath, the universe becomes part of you.


The Zen Winemaker