Do you control your breath or does it control you?
The answer is: both.
Breath is a unique biological function in that it occurs involuntarily, but can be manipulated through conscious effort.
As part of my decade-long pursuit of greater peace of mind, I have engaged in mindfulness meditation exercises focusing on the breath. This morning I felt my breath as it flowed throughout my body. I was practicing abdominal breathing in order to reduce stress. I felt my belly fill with air and rise on the inhalation and empty its air and descend upon exhalation
I was observing my body through the objective observer, the witness, inside of me. I simply lay there and felt my body breathe.
I remained in this blissful state for a total of 10 seconds until my mind wandered for the first of many times during this meditation session.
For now I am consciously reminding my body to breathe into my belly as opposed to my upper chest, where I have been habitually breathing. The hope is that this becomes more automatic over time—after all, I’m simply relearning the way I breathed as an infant!