We asked Robert Litman to share three ways our breath is a gift that keeps on giving—not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. His answer sheds even more light on this invisible life force.

preview for Robert Litman on Why Every Breath Is a Chance to Reset

Three of the things I really like about breath is that there are no two breaths that are ever alike. Each one is based on your experience during the past breath and all the breaths that came before it. So all the breaths that came before it are the ancestors of the current breath, so no two breaths are ever alike, which opens the door to “Well, what’s this breath like?” So it really can ignite your curiosity and your sense of discovery breath by breath by breath.

The other one that I really like that makes breath more sacred is: You’ll never know if you’re going to get another breath after the last one you just took. We take it for granted, but we start life on the inhale, we end life on the exhale, and many times the next breath is the last one you get.

And the other one that I think is really important for our psychology is that everything comes and goes. So every breath comes and it goes, and at the end, for some, if you recognize it, there’s an emptiness until the next breath arrives. Our heart’s desire calls for the next breath. And when you recognize that everything comes and goes and you really start paying attention to it, [you realize that the] things that you think about or ways that you feel, they’re not there all the time, they come and they go. And so we often catch ourselves—“I’m stuck in this idea,” or “I’m stuck in this mindset all the time.” Yeah, you may repeat it over and over again, but everything comes and goes, and if you can recognize that, and you can kind of breathe in with those moments and recognize at the end of that exhale, more than likely that thought’s not even there anymore, you free yourself up quite a bit. Breath offers a freedom. Its lessons offer freedom.

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Robert Litman hosts our “The Life You Want” Class on the art and science of breathwork. You will come away with a tool kit of simple breathing techniques to help with stress, anxiety, sleep, asthma, and more. Become an Oprah Daily Insider now to get access to this conversation and the full “The Life You Want” Class library.