How Are You Breathing?

'Once we know how to contact the energy of breath, breathing becomes an infinite source of vitalising energies'

Breathing is something we all have in common; it’s free and it lasts from birth right up until our final moment on earth. So why would we short change ourselves of this essential life force through shallow and chaotic breathing that leads to upset, anxiety and other dis-eases?

Once you focus on your breathing patterns and gradually change them to support your wellbeing, you’ll be amazed at just how powerful this simplest automatic function can be in bringing total satisfaction and fulfilment to your daily life.

Excerpts below from ‘Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga’ by Tarthang Tulku:


Breathing charts the life rhythms, and the way we breathe signals the disposition of our energies. 

Agitation and excitement cause the breath to be uneven and rapid. When we are calm and balanced, our breathing is even, slow and soft.

We can change our mental and physical states by changing the way we breathe. Even when very upset, we can calm and balance ourselves by breathing slowly and evenly.

When breathing is consistently calm and even, we will find that energy increases and health improves. We sleep better and the mental and physical parts of your being become balanced…”

It can help when we begin to understand that breathing not only affects lung function – which is quite a ‘mechanical’ way of  seeing it – but that there are multiple functions, physiological and subtle-energetic that are completely determined by how you breathe.

Throat Chakra function is a good example, as Tarthang Tulku goes on to explain;

“The energy of breath is particularly associated with the throat centre, which both evokes energy and co-ordinates the energy flow throughout the body…

“Usually, however, the throat centre is agitated, so these flows become blocked and do not flow properly…

“It is possible, however, to breathe in such a way that the throat centre becomes calm and functions smoothly.

“The way to do this is to breathe slowly and evenly through both nose and mouth, with the mouth slightly open and the tongue lightly touching the the palate. In the beginning this is not very comfortable, but as energy begins to travel evenly to the head and to the heart centres, the vitalising effects of this way of breathing are felt.


Then it becomes increasingly easy and pleasant to continue. As the flow of energies within us becomes balanced, our feelings and sensations unfold naturally, and we open to deep sensations of fulfilment. 


“This takes time. When the flow of energies throughout our systems is imbalanced, we lose touch with our feelings and sensations…”

Perhaps take a few moments here to consider how it is when you lose touch with yourself in this way…

When you’re not feeling or sensing as fully as you could, how much real living might you be missing out on? How much life satis faction and fulfilment is passing you by?  


Eventually, as you become more attuned to your breathing patterns and rhythms, you find that you increasingly enjoy your own life, becoming more resilient in the face of setbacks and challenges, and able to fully appreciate and enjoy the totality of sensory experience. 

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