The Importance of Breath

I can't breath

"I can't breath" 

Is something I have uttered far more often than one should. It's not just the lack of breath but it's also the massive amount of rib pain I deal with on a daily bases. My ribs are never aligned, constantly popping out, or the tendons and muscles around them will swell and create knots. Knots that I do my best to beat into submission. I've spent years wearing clothes that restrict my breathe, causing me to pull in my rib-cage, breath from the top of my chest so that my stomach would stay still and I would look the part. I am not sure what part it was that I was suppose to be fulfilling, but I've carried this for so long that breathing like one is supposed to no longer comes naturally to me. This has caused a variety of issues beyond the rib pain. Running is almost impossible if you are not taking full breaths, hence the reason I always give up whenever trying to consistently run more than 5 km. The "bubble" on my left side. 

The practice of yoga doesn't allow for half breaths. In fact when you dive into yoga, you find whole texts devoted to breathing. Out of the 8 limbs of yoga, the fourth limb, the Prānāyāma is about breathe. The practice of consciously regulating breath. The deepening of the inhalation and exhalation. I read recently somewhere that each inhalation is new life and each exhalation is another death. And sort like my relationship with food, I've come to see breath as a important part of being alive. You need it to function, it's not just there to torture you. It can be good and not only good but it can be enjoyed too.

So I have been spending a lot of time on my breath and it's made a difference. My pain has lessened overall and when I do wake up in intense pain, sitting on my yoga mat and focusing in on breathe helps release the tension, not always but enough for me to be making an effort. This has me curious about other habits I picked up over the years and whether or not they are causing me pain. I am aware of two others that do affect me, one my relationship with food and how damaging the yo-yo effort is on one's body. The second being negative self talk. Both are things I've been actively working on, so what other hidden things are there left to find. What do I do with what I discover, if there is a discovery to be made?