Strong Lungs for Life
Your lungs (the body’s main organ of respiration) breathe in life and disperse it throughout your entire body. Working closely with your heart and circulatory system, they take in energy as oxygen and eliminate waste in the form of carbon dioxide. Comprised of a pair of cone-shaped, spongy organs in the upper-mid-chest cavity, the lungs contain lobules, bronchi and millions of air cells. Your incredibly designed body enfolds this valuable organ with the pleura, a sac-like protection allowing for lung expansion and contraction.
The rhythm of your breath affects other rhythmic cycles in your body. Whether your breath is fast or slow, deep or shallow, erratic or rhythmic, the pace of your heart and flow of your blood circulation reflects this pattern.
Your breathing patterns reveal more about you than you may realize. When you feel anxious or driven or overly emotional, you tend to breathe more quickly and shallowly. Yet, when you breathe rhythmically and freely you usually become less affected by the unexpected changes around you and better equipped to deal with your emotions, attitudes and actions.
Do you remember the sleeping baby illustration in a previous chapter? The rhythmic, deep-from-the-diaphragm gentle breathing? As you age, your breathing often becomes shallower as you begin using only the upper chest portion of your lungs. Yoga is an excellent fitness form that teaches deep breathing exercises as a relaxation technique. The technique recommends slowing the breath and taking deep breaths when stressed, angry or afraid. This exercise calms the entire body, allowing for clarity, focus and even healing during demanding or tense-filled times.
Oxygen circulation is vital for healthy internal organs. An additional benefit of improved circulation is healthy, vibrant skin and hair. It seems wise to start taking more deep, rhythmic breaths!
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