Breathing is Life. We do not take the time to breathe. To live, we need to breathe. We must breathe. Breathing “saves” our bodies, and yet over the years our breathing has been on “auto-pilot.” We breathe just enough to get by. The air we breathe is the body’s nourishment, we breathe not just to get by but to give Life its continuance.
Practicing the Art of Personal Safety requires us to learn how to breathe deeply and properly. Having the ability to breathe and breathe properly is a powerful way to gain our personal self-control within our surroundings. Our attention is brought back to the “present” moment allowing us to become one with the activity we are engaging with. When confronted with a life-altering event, our breathing becomes most effective. If our breathing is fast and our heart is racing, this type of breathing will do more harm to us than good. It will feel like we are having a panic attack, which is the last feeling we want to feel during a life-altering event.
Learning how to control our breathing will help us to relax and calm down. The calming feeling will give us control of ourselves so we can better address the situation at hand. Being able to control ourselves will resonate a sense of confidence, control, and fearlessness to our attackers.
Imagine the environment we are in is falling apart faster than we can blink our eyes. As we scan our surroundings attempting to make sense of all the chaos, we witness a person who is in control of himself/herself despite all the confusion. This person’s breathing is relaxed and calm, providing him/her with a better understanding of the situation. This personal self-control allows him/her to come up with suitable solutions for himself/herself based on his/her calm observation. He/she is not re-acting to the chaotic external stimuli. He/she is in control of himself/herself. This is the power we all possess. Our personal self-control.
Most of us admire or maybe get intimidated when we come across someone who is so relaxed, calm, confident, fearless, and secure within themselves. How they remain calm in the midst of turmoil. How we tend to gravitate towards them. How we aspire to be like or to acquire some of their qualities. I know and believe these people understand the power of the “breath.” They use the power of breathing to achieve the admirable qualities we admire.
It is very hard to overtake someone who is relaxed, calm, confident, fearless, and secure. Most attackers will not attack someone who they know they cannot overtake or overpower. They want a “victim” who will not give them a fight for their lives. Controlled breathing will also help us deliver defensive, effective techniques that will allow us to escape the attack. Controlled breathing will also help in generating strength, energy, and power to exert onto our attacker.
Understanding breathing will bring about mindfulness within our environment and its surroundings. Breathing properly also results in the ability to focus on what is important in the “present” moment. Breathing is Life’s gift to the Body.
It is very important that we learn how to breathe and breathe often. Our bodies need oxygen, and learning how to breathe properly will help our bodies sustain life.
Below is one of the breathing exercises I have learned from the Art of Personal Safety that I do every day for 10 to 15 breaths. I call it the 5-3-5 of Mindful Breathing. Go ahead and give it shot.
Have a seat, on the floor with your legs crossed (lotus position) or in a chair with your back straight. Make sure to sit on your butt (buttock), not your tailbone. Close or open your eyes. It’s up to you.
Relax. Place your hands on top of your knees if sitting in a lotus position and on top of your thigh if sitting in a chair. Breathe normally for 5 minutes. Observe your breathing. Is it rough? Smooth? Shallow? Just observe and relax.
Inhale deeply for 5 seconds, filling up your belly, not your chest. (Imagine filling a balloon up with water as you inhale deeply. Your chest will rise naturally, once the belly begins to fill up with air. The goal is to fill the belly on the inhale.)
Once your belly is filled, hold/pause the breath for 3 seconds.
Exhale for 5 seconds, by contracting your abdomen.
Repeat the technique.
Be mindful of your breathing pattern. Once you are comfortable, focus on your abdomen expanding with every inhale, and contracting with every exhale. After each inhale, hold/pause for 3 seconds before exhaling, and after exhaling, hold/pause for 3 seconds before inhaling again.
As you perform the 5-3-5 Mindful Breathing, be aware of what you see (if you chose to leave your eyes open), what you hear, and what you feel. Continue to relax. Do not fight them. Let them in, otherwise, they will keep knocking on your door. Let them in, then let them go. No need to hold on to them. They are thoughts…Your thoughts.
After 10-15 breaths you will feel a relaxation accompanied by the clarity with a peaceful calmness that has been rejuvenated. Hold on to this feeling as you exit your Mindful Breathing session. Hold on to it as long as you can.
Enjoy your deep breathing. I highly recommend it.