The first time I went to a class on breathing, I visualized inhaling ribbons of color while focusing on a candle. The color filled my lungs, curled around my organs, then expanded out to nourish my arms and legs. On the exhale, the colors of breath became a gray smoke of waste sweeping up my body and out my mouth. Another breath adventure was with my daughter. We were having a priestess party in Sedona and decided to go on a private breath journey together. We were given a lesson on breathing very deeply. Then we relaxed and began our journey with primitive drumming and didgeridoo sounds, which then expanded to a wide range of music, culminating with tinkling crystals four hours later. Although we heard the same music, we had completely different spiritual journeys.

Breath is key to vigor and vitality. It is our most fundamental necessity. Oxygen is the source of our life energy. Boosting oxygen enables our bodies to get rid of free radicals (which contribute to aging), according to James Balch, MD. Breathing is, as much as food, a source of physical energy. The two overlap – food and oxygen. The breathing act bathes the bloodstream with fresh oxygen. When we exhale, the waste from the bodily tissues is carried away in the form of carbon dioxide. Breathing correctly also aids digestion by massaging the abdominal muscles.

Breathing with awareness can elevate your consciousness. Connecting with breath is one way to become present. It is its own meditation. Biologically, when breath is retained, it stimulates the brain’s capillaries to dilate, opening up cerebral circulation, forcing creation of new neural pathways and activation of dormant centers.

Everyone has enough time to take at least one deep breath every morning. Just take one breath, then the next day, another. Then another. With a few precious moments of real tranquility every day, you will emerge refreshed to face the day. You will be able to create fresh energy at will any time anywhere, day or night.

Make breath an adventure.