Have you ever watched a baby sleep? As their bodies surrender to stillness, a gentle sense of calm and peacefulness is reflected in their bodies and sometimes on their faces. That simple act of rest is a reminder for me about the power of God’s gift, the breath of life.
The breath has power and there’s a rhythm and a flow to it. As a wellness professional and yoga instructor, I talk about the breath a lot and most of what I’ve learned about breathing has come from the word of God and confirmed through science. I believe that the breath unlocks the door to spiritual awareness, and God starts this process in the womb.
Did you know that mothers breathe for their babies while they are in the womb? During their time in the womb, babies practice breathing while their lungs are being developed in preparation for birth. That moment when all those in the room wait in anticipation for those strong lungs to let out a loud cry to indicate… LIFE!
From that point forward, we embody the gift. Second by second, moment by moment we inhale and exhale consciously and unconsciously. But, the breath is more than just the flow of oxygen; it is the vehicle by which God provides us with the following:
When God formed man from the dust in Genesis 2:7, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. We move and live with a daily reminder of God’s presence every time we take a breath. His presence flows through us, giving life to our body, soul, and spirit. On a deeper level through prayer and meditation, we are able to not only cherish the gift of God’s breath on a physical level, but we are able to feel and sense His presence on a spiritual level as well. In John 4:24, we are reminded that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. As God’s greatest creation, we are built for spiritual worship and that type of worship starts with a spiritual awareness found in reverence of the breath.
The breath, like all of God’s gifts, is full of power. In Proverbs 18:21, we are reminded that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Words riding along the flow of your breath holds power and with the gift of free will, we can choose how that power will be directed in our lives based on what we speak. When God spoke “let there be light”, there was light. That same power to speak life resides within us when our breath carries words from a place grounded in faith.
Created in God’s likeness, we possess power through God our Father and power can bring about change. In our physical bodies, we were created with systems that allow us to receive and to release. Our respiratory system is designed to take in oxygen and to release carbon dioxide. Our human design is divine indeed! We are change agents here on earth equipped with the ability to receive something and to change it into something useful for others.
Did you know that our moods and attitudes are reflected through our breathing? Your breath may be short and choppy when you are anxious or upset. Or, maybe your breath is shallow when you’re sad. When we are more physically and spiritually aware of how we breathe, especially during difficult situations, we have the power to shift. We can change our perspective and sometimes our mood and attitudes in that very moment through conscious breathing.
Like a child in the mother’s womb, the breath is a mysterious and divine connector to our Creator and to the universe. As God’s earthly creation gives us oxygen, we receive it, transform it and offer our gift of carbon dioxide to the earth. In Genesis 1:26, God granted man dominion over the earth and that responsibility includes care and connection. God created us with connection in mind and the breath is a constant reminder of that connection. The connection is life and is life-giving to others.
Consider how you’ve been breathing lately and take a moment to try this spiritual breathing exercise. As you breathe in slowly through the nose, consciously envision you breathing in God’s presence and exhaling doubt. Slowly inhale the power of your breath to carry your prayers to feet of Jesus. Consciously exhale fear – the image of it and the energy of it. Slowly inhale your God-given ability to change or shift your perspective or feelings and exhale worry. Slowly inhale your ability and desire to connect with God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, earth, and others, and exhale isolation.
Remember, breathing is needed to live, and how you live is rooted in how you breathe through life.
Sherrell Moore-Tucker is a Wellness Professional, Writer, and Registered Yoga Instructor with the National Yoga Alliance and Holy Yoga Ministries. Sherrell provides wellness services which tend to a person’s spiritual, mental, and physical well-being while providing accessible tools for managing stress. Join the movement and learn more about how to “Breathe in, Stress Out” at www.sherrellmooretucker.com.