Inhalation and exhalation exercises are essential to yoga and meditation techniques, but breathing plays a larger role in the greater scheme of things. Training your body to breathe properly – low and deep into the abdomen – on an everyday basis can lead to greater health and enhanced energy. But, as Ilchi Lee writes in several of his books and throughout his teachings, it also plays a large role in self-development and enlightenment.
In "The Twelve Enlightenments for Healing Society," The New York Times bestselling author discusses the importance of understanding the nature of breathing in the journey of self-exploration.
"Observe your own body," Lee directed the reader. "It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think is you is not the main protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you."
When one comes to the understanding that you are not the breather but the receiver of breath, you can come to a greater understanding of your place in the world. With deep thought comes to the realization that to you are not the owner of your life but a vessel through which life expresses itself.
Another of the enlightening Ilchi Lee books, "Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential," explores the benefits of reaching greater levels of breath awareness.
"The only thing you need to be present here and now is your breathing," Lee explained, "When you feel your breath, your mind is with your body."
Anyone who has come to master meditation techniques understands the trueness of this statement. The ancient practice can be conducted anywhere at any time if one wills it, whether you're parked in your car, sitting at a social gathering feeling disconnected from yourself or waiting in line at the DMV. The deep, steady breathing involved in meditation can help guide you to a place of greater awareness of your inner self and your connection to the world all around. This, in turn, can lead you to new heights of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.