I’m currently reading David Suzuki’s The Sacred Balance, and his chapter on breath is one of the most beautiful descriptions on our connection to breath I’ve read. You can read the whole chapter online here. This is my favourite quote:
“Air is a physical substance; it embraces us so intimately that it is hard to say where we leave off and air begins. Inside as well as outside we are minutely designed for the ‘central activity of our existence – drawing the atmosphere into the centre of our being, deep into the moist, delicate membranous labyrinth within our chests, and putting it to use.”
Later, he talks about argon. Argon is an inert gas that makes up about 1% of the air we breathe. These wonderful little atoms never go away, so every single breath you take contains argon from someone in history. According to Harlow Shapley, quoted in the book, “your next breath will contain 400,000 argon atoms that Ghandi breathed in his long life.” That means that every day you are breathing in atoms that were present during every major historical event! Talk about power!