The Breath is an Agent of Sustained Life Force

Mindfulness meditation

We are breathed. We are lived.


It is common to believe that we breathe with the lungs alone, when actually we are breathed by the wholeness of our bodies. We are expanded inward and outward with each breath, top to bottom, and side to side. We are inhaled and exhaled in a process that involves the musculature of the head, spine, ribs, psoas, diaphragm, abdomen, pelvis, and upper legs. Breathing is our simplest yet most profound act of agency.


When we are born we arrive from the fluid sac of our mother’s womb into an air container where we are met with our first inhale and exhale. The ancients call this activity Prana, which is to animate entry; the breath of life. Essentially, we are in a process that carries us more than we carry it. And we can engage with that process to deepen our inner connectivity. To live and be breathed grants us sustained life force.


Breath is a beautiful way to live deep in the art of inner being. With our breath, we can ride the wave of fluid rhythmic activity. The importance of breathing with ease becomes all too clear when we are belabored by it. Chronic tension, depression, anxiety, continuous excitation, and fright can create interference with the natural flow of breath.

woman dancing under water

Breathing is our simplest yet most profound act of agency.


Breathing easily and fully can be learned because it is hard-wired into our primal body. To experience the fullness of our breath brings with it a sense of softness and ease. The fluidity and lightness that comes from the fullness of breath brings sustainability.


We undervalue the importance of our innate ability to ride the waves of our primal breath. We can explore breath. Instead of going into techniques that “fix” the breath, we can engage our curious minds. Instead of problem-solving, just be with the breath. Just be with yourself. It can be difficult. Few of us want to be with ourselves when we don’t feel good.


Begin with kindness when cultivating any new relationship but especially our relationship with our body self. Arrive using the breath as a guide. We are breathed. We can even take that idea to the next level to say, we are lived. We are being lived. Sit with the mystery.


Essentially, we are in a process that carries us more than we carry it.


Take agency of the life we live with and in. We all live with breath: the inhale and exhale of a process of a wave-like rhythm. The mythic storyteller Martin Shaw says to witness is to assess, whereas to behold is to make space. Let’s make space for the air we breathe and honor the design of this excellent exchange system with the planet. We are sustained by the air we breathe; it is the agent of our life force.


Ha.Lé Integrative is a holistic wellness practice, serving the greater Midtown area of Nashville, TN. Click here to learn about our services.

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