I would like to start off by narrating an incident from my life. These were my initial days in Mumbai. One evening, I returned to my room from college. As soon as I opened the door and stepped my foot inside the room, I sensed a huge difference and disconnection.
The air outside the room was cooler, more pleasant and satisfying. But as I inhaled the air from inside the room, I kept feeling unsatisfactory no matter how deep the inhales were, I felt as if my whole body was telling me that it wasn’t something it wanted.
I smashed open the only window of our room wide, immediately feeling the exchange of warm and cold air currents. I was literally feeling the way, the air inside the room wanted to escape. I stood by the window taking deep breathes trying to breathe in the fresher air to have mercy on my body. Meanwhile, my roommate approached me in extreme frustration, explaining to me how the open window had resulted in her being bitten by the mosquitoes.
Air pollution is the biggest killer
After the explosion was done, she closed the window and ordered me not to open them for the next 3-4 hours while I stood there wondering why the mosquitoes didn’t bite me and thinking how I would survive in this prison for next 3-4 hours.
Now the concern for me wasn’t about who was wrong or who was right but what concerned me was how can people not sense what I was sensing? Air pollution is the biggest killer which is present everywhere. Not just Mumbai or Delhi, it has taken over the entire country.
I’ve met people who try to replace cold air from outside by cool air of ACs the whole night. Most of our population spends huge amounts of time in environments with ACs, pollution and deoxygenated air. We tend to get caught up in all the busy things that we forget to feel the very life force around us. My biggest question is how can we not feel the disconnection?
I am fortunately allergic to the air coming out of the ACs and refrigerators. Spending more time in AC or eating foods directly from the fridge makes my nose run continuously for days with swollen sinuses and ears accompanied by a sore throat.
Because of this, I get to experience what terrible destruction this artificial air does to our body, mind and brain. I said fortunately because, my allergy exposes me to the effects of this artificial air but for those who don’t have the allergy – their bodies suffer silently.
Deoxygenated environments even affect our mental health and consciousness in a way we fail to grasp.
I’ve been getting deeper into meditation and spirituality for the last 2 years now in which I explored the aspect of our connection with Mother Nature. Many of you might have heard of Wim Hof, the iceman. He does seemingly impossible things just by altering the way he breathes.
He was experimented over by scientists many times, proving his methods to be real. Even the monks have been using various breathing exercises along with meditation to alter the very chemistry and biology of human body.
All this makes air the most fundamental aspect of our being, as we can’t survive without it more than a few minutes. In spirituality, the air that we breathe in is said to connect us with our higher selves. Having such a vital aspect of our life being ignored is going to affect humanity deeply.
Having a connection and sensitivity towards nature around us is the way of our being.
People have cured diseases from ADHD to cancer simply by reconnecting themselves back to nature, because we were never evolved to live the way we live today. It’s the reason why we see a generation of miserable, frustrated and depressed people mindlessly living their lives in the age where human evolution is reaching its peaks and we were supposed to be living happily and calmly. It’s the cost we pay for the disconnection.
I won’t say that I live like a monk, but as I’m getting more conscious about different aspects of life and the anthropocentric behavior that we have nurtured, taking some time off of ourselves and worldly ways, to think about who we are, to feel and to breathe is necessary and is potentially eye-opening.
The disturbing air pollution conditions of our country are depressing, as I wonder how can we lead such a fundamental element of our being to get ignored and deteriorated? It makes me sad that we have terribly failed to nurture sensitivity towards life within the masses.
My only request to all of you is to get out of your seemingly busy lives and take a step forward to reconnect with nature, to feel the air, the soil and the sunlight around, and be aware of the existence of plants, animals and all the aspects around. This has the potential to change our lives as well as our society in a huge way. Every moment ask yourself what are you breathing? What are you eating? What are you doing?
(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)