Take a deep breath. How does that feel to be able to fill your lungs? All to often we take this ability for granted and yet it is the very basis of life.
The moment we are born we get a pat on the bottom to ensure that our cry will fill our lungs with all important oxygen. Oxygen is the fuel that powers our cells. Any part of the body that has its blood, and hence oxygen, supply cut off dies, as do we if that part happens to be a vital organ such as the heart or the brain. One of the important benefits of cardiovascular exercise is that it increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
The ability to inhale clean air is a delight. Can you recall the smell of the air after a rainfall? Maybe in the mountains, or the dessert or a freshly mowed lawn. How good it feels to take a deep breath of that sweet, clean air!
What happens when the air around us is polluted with totally unnecessary secondhand smoke? It’s like ugly graffiti on the air.
Secondhand smoke contains carbon monoxide that when inhaled, displaces oxygen on the red blood cells, reducing the amount of oxygen available to any and every part of our body. This is how people die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Secondhand smoke also contains fine particulate matter defined as PM 2.5. That means the particles are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. One strand of the hair on your head is about 30 times wider. These particles embed themselves deeply into the lungs and, because they are so tiny, do not come out. This is not good for the lungs. What is not good for lungs, is not good for our ability to breathe.
Appreciate how precious our breath is and protect our ability to inhale clean healthy air.
Breath Appreciation Meditation
Begin by placing your feet flat on the floor
Straighten your back and place your hands comfortably on your lap
Breathe in through your nose for a count of 3 and pause
Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 5, pause
Repeat 5 or more times (this resets the nervous system, taking it our of fight or flight)
Continue to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth at whatever rhythm is comfortable for you, imagine you are in a beautiful place in nature and consider the following: