The Breath is One of Our Best Teachers

Happy NOW Year Tip #3: Heart + Lungs = LIFE

Lung Expansion Tips

The LUNGS are intimate partners with last month’s topic: the HEART. They work together in precise synchronicity for respiration to occur, which keeps our body functioning and experiencing life! A simple description of this sophisticated yet complex relationship is that our lungs take in oxygen, then exchange and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while our hard-working heart diligently pumps and distributes the newly oxygenated blood throughout our bodies. This is happening automatically all day and all night long, thank goodness! Did you know that the normal adult respiratory rate is 12-15 breaths per minute, that’s 720-900 times per hour, which is around 20,000 times in a day? Amazing!

The lungs are an intricate design of approximately 1500 miles of airways where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs within millions of tiny air-filled sacs called alveoli. We have a pair of lungs that are each divided into lobes: three on the right and two on the left. The lungs are sponge like and super elastic, which is why they can expand without bursting when they are full of air, and they can actually float in water! Our bodies really are truly phenomenal.

We don’t typically pay attention to our breath but when we do, magic happens. When we breathe with awareness a sense of calm, relaxation, and presence emerges. Sounds lovely right? Give it a try, take a moment to sit up straight and relax your shoulders, place your hands on your low ribs by your belly, inhale to expand your lower belly and exhale so it gently moves inward toward your spine… continue this breath awareness for a minute. Pausing like this for a few conscious breaths is a mini “time out” to feel life and experience presence. Our breath is one of our best teachers. We just have to tune into its rhythm and listen to its messages. In yoga, the breath is emphasized because it helps us flow with our movements while increasing circulation. Also oxygen is fuel for our body and brain. On another level though, your breath is a mystical bridge that joins your body with your mind. A profound connection transpires when the body and mind unite, which is much like how the heart and lungs operate in unison to create respiration. Each relaxed breath we take will bring us peace and presence so we experience the NOW.

Don’t hold your breath! Stay tuned for more on breathing in an upcoming blog. For now, keep living brightly, enjoying life, and appreciating your breath!

Follow your heart~ Listen to your breath~ Experience presence~

Amanda Kriebel, DPT, E-RYT

“Your entire body, your entire being, relies on the dance between breath and blood for survival.”

~ Cameron Diaz

How do you feel when you take a few rounds of conscious breaths?? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @TheBodyBook.

Affectionately described by many as a yoga scientist, Amanda Kriebel is an innovative Doctor of Physical Therapy and Yoga Teacher who humbly claims to be a student of life. She inspires her patients and students to find JOY through creative techniques to optimize physique and health through physical therapy and yoga sessions. She has developed a clinical collection of short yoga routines called the Surf | E x p a n s i o n Yoga Series designed for all types of athletes curious to explore yoga. Amanda is an avid surfer and snowboarder for over 15 years and an adventurer dedicated to promoting health and longevity so that you dwell IN Joy. Learn more about her and her exclusive videos: and Facebook/Instagram @amanda.kriebel.

Photo/Video Credit: Micaela Malmi Photography