Victory News

Breathe for Health

Have you heard about the eldery man who went to his doctor for a checkup and asked: “Doctor, tell me what the secret for a long and healthy life is?'“ He replied, “Just keep breathing”. I know it’s a silly joke but there is some wisdom in it!

Have you ever wondered how perfect nature is, that in our normal existence we never need to think about taking our next breath? Let’s thank God for that!

However, although we have the ability to breathe and stay alive, we may not always feel good about it! What I mean is that without truly understanding the effect and power that breath has on our mind, on our health and on our complete sense of well-being, we might be robbed of our “Joie de vivre” Joy of life.

Let me ask you: Do you honestly feel you are in total control of your mind? Of your thoughts? Do you truly believe that your mind is an obedient servant?

In India, they call it “the drunken monkey” with its constant erratic movement up and down the tree. It also seems that the more we try to slow the monkey down and stop him from moving, the faster he goes. Can you relate to this analogy? Do you sometimes feel that the more you try to quiet your mind, the more frazzled and anxious you become?

As you continue to read this newsletter, I want you to become aware of your own breathing. Can you notice the quality of your breath? Is it shallow? Do you feel that the air gets stuck in your chest? Do you also sense tension and tightness in your neck and shoulders? Or, on the contrary, do you notice that the air lifts your belly like a balloon and expands into your diaphragm? Victory to you! You are practicing proper breathing techniques that you might have learned in Yoga or on your own. I know, it’s not easy to breathe the correct way, especially when you experience the emotions of anxiety, fear, and anger, they can seriously sabotage your efforts. It becomes a vicious cycle: the more stressed we become, the shallower we breathe, and we end up feeling the worse than before. So, you may ask, what is the solution to this conundrum?

Stop focusing on what you must do in the future or what you should have done in the past, and simply choose to be in the present moment, here and now! Pay attention to the air touching the skin of your nose and you inhale cool and fresh, and let go of the old air, removing your stress. You will be surprised to realize that it is impossible to think and to be aware of your breath at the same time! It’s such a relief to know this, isn’t it?

And please don’t take my word for it! Remember, for this basic breathing to work, it’s best to use the ratio of 4 to 8 counts, meaning you inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 8. Why is this ratio? When you exhale, you cleanse old air filled with carbon dioxide, and it takes longer to achieve this result. Voila! Just by taking 3 to 4 of these conscious breaths you can turn your stress into strength. That simple, give it a try!

Of course, there is much more you can do with your breathing. There are so many techniques to explore and so many books which have been written on this subject. For example, in my book “Victim to Victorious” I describe one of my favorite techniques, the “Square breathing”. This is a very useful practice to create clarity and focus. I tend to use it a lot, especially at night when my mind is racing, reviewing the many activities of my day. This is how it goes:

Place one hand covering your navel, so you can feel the rise and the fall of your abdomen which each breath, and then prepare to count your breath. There are 3 cycles to this practice:

First cycle: Count to 4 on the inhale, hold the breath for 4, exhale for 4 and no breath for 4 counts.

Second cycle: Inhale for 5, hold the breath for 5, exhale for 5, no breath for 5 counts.

Third cycle: Inhale for 6, hold the breath for 6, exhale for 6, no breath for 6 counts.

Victory to you! You did it and I bet you are feeling so rejuvenated! Remember practice makes perfect, or in this case, I would say, practice creates more inner calmness and a healthy mindset for success in life.

I hope I have inspired you to, not only discover more about the power of your breath, but to also tune in to your personal power!

« When we take a conscious breath, it puts us in the present moment where we can observe our inner life »

- Buddha

Declare every day:

“As I breathe in, I calm my mind and my body, and as I breathe out, I smile at this moment here and now”

Stay tuned for my next newsletter, “the art of feeling youthful, vibrant and joyful”

And don’t forget my Columbian retreat in Septembre 2024, where breathing techniques will be taught.

Click on the picture below for my retreat!



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