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6 Breaths a Minute

breath

breath

Many spiritual teachers and writers – of all traditions – talk of the importance of the breath for meditation and interior silence. It’s a big deal.

Phrases like ‘watching the breath’ or ‘practicing with the breath’ are common. I will write more about this at another time. But last week I was listening to Rob Bell (author of ‘Velvet Elvis’ and the man behind the popular Nooma DVD’s). He was referencing some research that linked breathing to energy. We all know how our breathing is linked to our state of mind – if we are anxious our breathing will be quick and shallow. If we are in a rested, peaceful state we breathe more slowly and deeply. But what we perhaps weren’t aware of is the link between breathing and energy. Apparently if we breathe around 6 breaths per minute we will optimize the amount of energy that is available to us.

Most of us breathe more like 20 breaths a minute – quick shallow breaths. This dissipates us. The research Bell was referencing suggested that when we breathe like this we access less than 10% of available energy.

So apart from the link between breathing and deeper prayer states, it would seem that if we can slow and deepen our breathing we will access more energy generally. Try it – count how many times a minute you breathe.

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