Genesis 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Every living organism breathes (that is exchanges gases) one way or another. We all breathe. Even in us humans, we breathe differently among each other. When I was playing the saxophone and taking singing lessons in my youth, I had to learn how to breathe differently than I normally do for maximum breath control. I never really got the hang of it.
Most of us, because it is such an automatic thing, don’t really think about how we breathe unless we are forced to for whatever reason. Those singers that can really belt out those notes (for example our own Rachael Martin) have to engage the entire system including nostrils, upper and lower lungs, diaphragm, and the stomach. Try it right now. Take a deep breath while being fully aware of what parts of your body are engaged. One thing I learned while trying to get back into training my breath and voice is that most of us only engage the upper respiratory system. Have you ever truly watched Whitney Houston sing? Her nostrils flare and her lip/jaw quivers. This happened as a result of her trying to fully engage the entire respiratory system so she could hold the notes longer. She was so well trained that we rarely saw the other parts being engaged. If you try to hold those notes (or just held your exhale for that length of time) are not a properly trained singer, you will get light headed.
Taking time out of your day to work on engaging the entire respiratory system helps with bringing in a calmness to your body. For someone that suffers from bouts of anxiety, this tool is extremely helpful for me. Deep breathing often can reduce stress due to the increase of oxygen levels in the blood which in turn lowers the heart rate which then lowers blood pressure which ultimately improves blood circulation. This all helps to bring the body and mind into a relaxed clear state which can also increase energy.
Every part of the respiratory system plays a part not just in our breathing but also in filtering the air we breathe in. Can you imagine all the gazillion particles we breathe in everyday not being filtered? Ewww!!! Even some of those still don’t get filtered depending on where we live and what habits we may have.
The small air sacs located in the lungs are just as important as the diaphragm and the lungs. The hairs in our nostrils are just as important as the bronchial tubes. Every part has a role to play. Just as it is important to practice deep breathing every once in awhile, it is important to practice breathing in the things of God deeply.
As we breathe in everything we can of our Lord, things get filtered, sifted, and transported as we grow from glory to glory. As we are all different members of the same body spiritually, we all benefit when each member breathes in deep.
One practice I have incorporated into my time with the God-Head is taking deep breaths while focusing on where the air is flowing through my body, holding it in for however many seconds (when I started I could only hold it in for about 3 seconds), then saying the name of Jesus as I exhaled. I was already doing this before a friend of mine (a believer) sent me more tools for “meditation”. She didn’t know what I had already started. I use the term “meditation” loosely because some people cringe at the thought of the word. Breathing deep is truly beneficial no matter how you feel about meditation.
Try it now as you let the song from this video play. Focus on how the air comes in, where it flows through, and how you exhale. The effects are truly worth this next four minutes and fifty-five seconds of your day.
Alicia R. Shipe