For a few years now, I’ve had this ability to fall asleep near-instantaneously. During the day. During the night. When it’s noisy. When it’s quiet. It’s nothing special; it just comes from an understanding of the breath’s effect on our nervous system. When we sleep, our respiratory system adopts a calm, deep rhythm. I know that, so before I fall asleep I consciously manipulate my breath and mimic that same rhythm. Thus, I drift off with ease.
Individuals like Wim Hof, practitioners that train and rehab athletes, arts like mindfulness, and disciplines like Pranayama yoga have built upon this idea. But it becomes interesting for me when I formulate this trio of mind-body-breath as a triangle:
Right now, you might be thinking, “What do I do with this?” The answer is, “I don’t know.” Not all pieces of writing need a conclusion, and not all ideas can occupy a definite category in our current catalogue of mind. But I will leave you with a question. Or three: Does the tip of the triangle influence the base more than the base influences the tip? Does the breath shape the mind and the body more than the reverse? Does our philosophy inform our action and reflection to a greater extent than our action and reflection forms our philosophy?