The first thing that happens when a baby comes out of the womb and that baby is not breathing is the doctor whacks it on its ass. “Breathe, dude/dudette. You are here now. Conscious. The game’s afoot.” I think that spanking needs to be done to a lot of people. A breathing practice provides interesting results. Our bodies are 99% subjectively coordinate. We practice for one reason and we experience the benefits in other surprising ways. I was in a motorcycle accident once. A car turned in front of and I somersaulted over the hood. Goodbye 1973 Honda 750. Hello power of the breath. I landed conscious. What I found was that the moment I landed deep breathing kicked in automatically. It was clear. A breathing practice seems to prime our bodies to kick the deep breath into effect in times of trauma and threat. I caught myself immediately and thought, “wow.” That is an extreme case. I also think it proves something about the practical power of breath. Another here-now moment. Wake up. You are alive. The games afoot.

Breathing is what made yoga for me. In the beginning poses were means of attainment. It is easy to be trapped by the mirrors, the need to compare, the need to perfect ultimately that which is already perfect. In breathing you cannot see a process. You can only rely on what you are doing with an internal compass, feeling and awareness. Breathing in a way requires that you close your eyes as the need to tune in works part and parcel with focused breathing. This is a practical, wonderful and righteous tool in its own right. At its base this act makes you feel good. It takes you from one space to another. It’s a portal. Then you go out into the world more present, more grounded and a satisfied human being. What’s not to like about that.

Conscious breathing rocks.

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