I bet that many of you will be surprised by my answer. If you are thinking water, honour, love or maybe money, you are wrong. I’m not saying that those are not important; they are just not the most important. The most important thing in life is breathing. Stop laughing – I know what you are thinking, breathing is just too obvious. But there is breathing and there is “breathing”; let me explain.
The kind of breathing you are thinking of is the instinct we have to breathe in air and stay alive; whereas the kind of breathing I’m referring to is conscious breathing – or simply put, breathing exercises. The ability to control your breathing has not only physical but also psychological benefits. By controlling your breathing you are able to stay in control of a situation that may otherwise get out-of-hand. Being able to control your breathing means that you can better control your emotions by raising your awareness of the situation.
You may remember that in my blog entitled “The Duality of Individuality” I wrote about the constant struggle we have in our mind between our two brains – the rational and the emotional. I compared this struggle to a rider (the rational) trying to ride an elephant (the emotional). By controlling the act of breathing, the rider maintains control of the elephant.
I believe the real value you get out of breathing properly is a raised awareness. Because you’re mindful of your breathing, each time you take a breath, you consciously correct your breathing technique and, as a result, you raise your general awareness and consciousness. Put it this way, to tame an elephant you require lots of practice and patience. Every opportunity you get to exercise your will over the elephant, and get away with it, you take a step forward. Good breathing habits are just a positive side effect.
Francis Lambert – Zabok, 23 June 2013