Notable Quotes

Tony Robbins

found that just 15 minutes of deep breathing would give one all the energy one needs for the day. “The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”

Dr. Andrew Weil

“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.”



Buddhist, founded school of Zen in Japan


“To study the way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget
the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the


Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Sanskrit text, 15 century

“Just as lions, elephants and tigers are controlled by and by, so the breath is controlled by slow degrees …” .

Lao-Tzu, circa 4th century BC

“The perfect man breathes as if he is not breathing.”

The Bible

“Blessed are they who are intimate with their Breath, for they shall receive the ‘I Can’ of the Universe.” -The Beatitudes (as translated directly from the Bible in Aramaic)


Dr. Deepak Chopra

“Prolonged stress can make you sick and can accelerate aging. Over time, the stress response can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, cancer, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.”

“The bodily changes of restful awareness in meditation are almost the exact opposite of the fight-or-flight response. During meditation, breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall. The consumption of oxygen during meditation falls almost twice as much as during sleep.”

Thich Nhat Hanh,
Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Nobel Prize nominee, 1967

“Breath is the bridge, which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Learn to practice breathing in order to regain composure of body and mind, to practice mindfulness, and to develop concentration and understanding.”

Michael Grant White

“Vince Lombardi once said ‘There are no new fundamentals.’  It’s the same with breathing”

Carmen Harra,

“The breath is a powerful tool…it creates a bridge between the subconscious and conscious mind, and connects the mind and the body. When you sit and breathe deeply, your physiology will change, and both your mind and your body will relax and become open. Breathing helps clear your head of the thoughts of the emotions and ego, and it allows you to get closer to your true self.”

Nicephorus the Solitary, 1250 A.D.
From Calabria (the “toe” of Italy), was a monk at Constantinople and then on Mount Athos.

“You know that our breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air. The organ that serves for this is the lungs that lie round the heart, so that the air passing through them thereby envelops the heart. Thus breathing is a natural way to the heart. And so, having collected your mind within you, lead it into the channel of breathing through which air reaches the heart and, together with this inhaled air, force your mind to descend into the heart and to remain there.”

Sheldon Saul Hendler, MD Ph.D.,
Author, The Oxygen Breakthrough

“Breathing is the FIRST place not the LAST place one should investigate when any disordered energy presents itself.”

Oprah Winfrey, television personality

“Nothing is more effective than a deep, slow inhale and release for surrendering what you can’t control,” states Oprah’s website. “So stop. Go mindless. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”


Byron Nelson, Golf Professional

“One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing.

Pi Dialogue (based on Bohm Dialogue on future of humanity)

“Breathe deeply often.”

“The deeper the breath the better the result.”

Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

15th Century Yogi
“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady.  But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life.  Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. “

Krishnamacharya, Indian Yoga teacher

(November 18, 1888 – November 3, 1989)
“Inhale, and God approaches you.  Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you.  Exhale, and you approach God.  Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

(4 BC-65) Roman philosopher and playwright
“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”

Giovanni Papini, journalist, essayist, poet, and novelist

January 9, 1881 – July 8, 1956
“Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.”

Author Unknown

“Breath is Spirit.  The act of breathing is Living.”

Nancy Zi, author, classical singer, voice teacher

“Controlled deep breathing helps the body to transform the air we breathe into energy. The stream of energized air produced by properly executed and controlled deep breathing produces a current of inner energy which radiates throughout the entire body and can be channeled to the body areas that need it the most, on demand.”



(BC 43-AD 18) Roman poet
“There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it.”

Author Unknown

“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.”

Shunryu Suzuki

“What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door, which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.”

Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.”


“Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.”

Giovanni Papini

“Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Author Unknown

“Breath is Spirit. The act of breathing is Living.”

“Heaven and Earth”

c. Ming dynasty work Anthology on the Cultivation of Realization by unknown author, translated by Thomas Cleary in Taoist MeditationAncestral Teacher Qiu

“If the breathing is at all unsettled, life is not your own.”

Sanskrit Proverb

“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“He lives most life whoever breathes most air.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.”

Author Unknown

“Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy enabling us to better connect with the Spirit within.”

Nicephorus the Solitary

“You know that our breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air. The organ that serves for this is the lungs that lie round the heart, so that the air passing through them thereby envelops the heart. Thus breathing is a natural way to the heart. And so, having collected your mind within you, lead it into the channel of breathing through which air reaches the heart and, together with this inhaled air, force your mind to descend into the heart and to remain there.”

Luce Irigaray

“Breathing, according to me, corresponds to taking charge of one’s own life.”

Fritz Perls

“Fear is excitement without the breath.”

Rodney Yee

“The practice is simply this: keep coming back to your breath during the day. Just take a moment. This will give your mind a steadiness and your breath a gracefulness…. There’s so much to let go of, isn’t there? Your nostalgia and your regrets. Your fantasies and your fears. What you think you want instead of what is happening right now.”

Carla Melucci Ardito

“Learn how to exhale, the inhale will take care of itself.”

 Andrea Gibson

“and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys
the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger.  We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.”

Alexander Lowen

“It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body’s musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements.
Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward.
Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement.
The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as “pneuma” is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.”

Gregory Maguire

“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Your breathing should flow gracefully,  like a river, like a watersnake crossing  the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.”

B.K.S. Iyengar

“Regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding.”

Donna Farhi

“Breathing affects your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular, and psychic systems, and also has a general affect on your sleep, memory, ability to concentrate, and your energy levels.”

6th Century B.C.
(inscription on twelve pieces of jade)

“In breathing, one must proceed as follows: One holds the breath and it is collected together. If it is collected, it expands. When it expands it goes down. When it goes down it becomes quiet. When it becomes quiet it will solidify. When it becomes solidified it will begin to sprout. After it has sprouted, it will grow. As it grows it will be pulled back again, to the upper regions of the body. When it has been pulled back, it will reach the crown of the head. Above, it will press against the crown of the head.”



Master Great Nothing of Sung-Shan
(in the famous Taoist Canon on Breathing)

“As for the proper inner breath, it is called the Embryonic Breath. Since it is naturally inside you, you do not have to seek outside for it.”



Gay Hendricks, PhD

“Many healings of other physical troubles have occurred in my clients after they started to integrate breathing practices into their lives. There is a simple but encompassing reason that may explain this. The human body is designed to discharge 70% of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are discharged through sweat, defecation and urination. If your breathing is not operating at peak efficiency, you are not ridding yourself of toxins properly.”




Pundit Acharya

“Only those who know how to breathe will survive.”





“When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit.”




Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.”



Swami Nostradamus Virato

“Breath is life. We should pay as much attention to it as any other aspect of beingness.”




Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, MD

“All chronic pain, suffering, and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level.”



Sheldon Saul Hendler, MD, PhD

“Breathing is the key that unlocks the whole catalog of advanced biological function and development. Is it any wonder that it is so central to every aspect of health? Breathing is the first place, not the last, one should look when fatigue, disease, or other evidence of disordered energy presents itself. Breathing is truly the body’s most basic communication system.”


Dr. Andrew Weil

“Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health.”




Dr. Parris M. Kidd, PhD

“Oxygen plays a pivotal role in the functioning of the immune system.”




Leonard Orr

“The stresses, strains, and traumas of ordinary daily existence in the process of working and living tend to inhibit our breathing ability.”




Dr. W. Spencer Way

“Insufficient oxygen means insufficient biological energy that can result in anything from mild fatigue to life-threatening disease. The link between insufficient oxygen and disease has now been firmly established.”




Gay Hendricks, PhD

“…healthy breathing should be the first thing taught to a heart patient. A Dutch Study conducted by a doctor named Dixhoorn, compared two groups of heart attack patients. The first group was taught simple diaphragmatic breathing, while the second group was given no training in breathing. The breathing group had no further heart attacks, while 7 of the 12 members of the second group had second heart attacks over the next 2 years.”




Robert Fried, PhD

“The relationship between breathing and blood pressure has been known and understood for a long time. It boils down to this: Elevated blood pressure accompanies those bodily states where rapid shallow breathing prevails. By altering breathing to a slow diaphragmatic mode, blood pressure decreases.”



Page last updated August 27, 2017