There is definitely one thing we will never finish as long as we are alive: breathing. Despite being the very first thing we were able to do at birth, it doesn’t mean we have been doing it correctly. Having been doing it unconsciously, it is no big surprise that we take breathing for granted. Right now, it’s high time we come back to our eupnoea.
I remember some noteworthy experiences of my breathing, like when I was trekking a long way up to the Himalayas; breathing techniques make all the difference. The endless and steep ascending exhausted me, until there was an athletic hero who told me to stop breathing with my mouth, and to gently do it with my nose instead. Following his instruction, walking up became miraculously smooth as silk, and my tiredness was just at the same level of slow morning jogging. At that time, I didn’t actually know what miracle breathing correctly made to my body, but it made me pay much more attention to it in other activities as well.
Dominique Lonchant, the author of the Art of Breathing and ABC of Breathing, who has been teaching breathing and leading workshops for 39 years around the world, generously shared his insightful perspectives and experiences with us, and he would like to acknowledge as many people as possible, so they can recognise the importance of breathing properly.
He pointed out a very interesting aspect: we humans are the only beings with countless health facilities such as medicines, hospitals, gyms, and many more, yet we are getting sicker, because we are not really breathing right. Thousands of years ago, sages in India discovered that the men’s breath started to be faulty, causing us more health problems. Also, from Lonchant’s profound study on breathing and yoga, he found that most of us are breathing superficially, and certainly, it can be fixed with some practice.
Oxygen is a vital food for the brain, and with adequate oxygen, our brains can function efficiently, resulting in both sound mind and sound body. The other way around, if the brain receives insufficient food, it will react negatively and will start creating diseases. Besides, people who breathe too superficially tend to have apnea while sleeping. This is why we should mind our breath – not just for our well being, but for our survival.
As we are breathing unceasingly, we do not naturally think about breathing all the time, and that is what his workshop is mainly for. He teaches people how to “unblock” the chest to maximise the amount of oxygen that will flow through the ribcage into the body, with his 15 respiring positions and some conscious breathing they have to practise. This experience is for people of all ages, and even for the paralysed or the handicapped, as those positions can be adapted to many circumstances. After the training, the daily, unconscious breathing will improve, which means proper breathing will become minutely routine. And, when we habitually breathe right, what follows will be things falling into place, better sleep, and most importantly, well functioned bodies and minds.
The highlighted part of the guru’s breathing technique is “to breathe deeply and slowly, through your nose”.
For further information about Dominique Lonchant and his techniques, please visit his online site at www.vivre-libre.fr, which comes in both French and English.