Dewitt Jones “Our patterns, too long unquestioned, become our prisons. Break the pattern! And see the scene before you with new eyes.”
Weekly I receive a picture and quote from DeWitt Jones, an internationally known photo journalist who is committed to viewing life and the world as something to celebrate every single day. This weeks picture and quote made me start thinking about the patterns of breathing that we inhabit on a moment to moment basis, most of which we are completely unaware of.
What I saw in the pattern of the regimented vineyard above was multifaceted. The red bucket of course interrupts the necessary uniformity required to grow and harvest grapes – almost as if it was an exclamation point thrown in to startle the eyes from only seeing a certain pattern. The mass of yellow flowers beneath support the possibility of other choices as they wildly grow in whatever way they choose.
Having lived in wine country for 14 years I was used to seeing scenes such as the one in this picture and noticed when the new growth or Fall colors would change the landscape and thus the pattern. However, there was always an underlying blueprint that best supported optimal growth.
This is how I see the patterns of our breathing. The underlying blueprint for optimal breathing was installed before you were even born and activated once you took your first breath. It is what is overlaying this healthy natural breath blueprint that I address here.
A very large percentage of people breathe very shallowly using secondary breath muscles (neck, upper back and chest). Consequently why there is so much tension and discomfort in the head, neck and shoulders. These muscles were never meant to be the primary care giver for the breath. They are often depended on because of bad posture, sitting for long periods of time, stress and fear, and most certainly lack of daily movement to stimulate natural breathing cycles as a result of being in our heads way too much of the time.
Did you know that there is a correlation between upper chest breathing and heart disease? Of note is that almost all people that have had heart attacks are presumably chest breathers. The heart is attached to the diaphragm by fascia. Each time we breathe utilizing the diaphragm and other primary muscles for breathing the heart is massaged!
This is just one of the many benefits that a natural fluid diaphragmatic breath can bring. Our primary breathing muscles are the thoracic diaphragm, the muscles between the ribs (intercostals), and the abdominal muscles (front of belly) as well as the pelvic diaphragm. When you breathe in a natural healthy way the breath should be felt in pelvis, belly, back, and all of the ribcage.
Invite a full embodied breath in today and give it to the rising sun – a key to break free of the patterns that have captured your vital health and aliveness!
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