Take a moment, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Pause. Think about how you are breathing. I don’t need you to breathe more, just be honest and listen in to how you are breathing, how you are sitting, how you are feeling?
Ask Yourself for the Answers
If you felt like you were breathing short, shallow, or into your upper chest then welcome. The majority of us are breathing this way day in, day out, unless we are doing something that requires us to breathe deeply. During FitSphere, I am constantly queuing the breath. Not only to fuel the movements so we can perform to our greatest capacity, but because our energy process is in our breath. Read: The Truth About Weight Loss if you want to know more.
Why Should we Breathe Deeply
On a physiological level, nose breathing is designed to filter and receive oxygen deep into our lungs. My top benefits of nose breathing is sleeping well, increased vitality, sense of calm, clarity, focus, beautiful skin from plenty of oxygen intake. Read: What is Breathwork for more information.
How to Breathe
Sit comfortably in a chair, couch or floor with a long tall spine. Try not to use back support here so you can feel each vertebrae stack one on top of the other. Answer yourself honestly the questions: How am I breathing? How am I sitting? How am I feeling?
- Place your hands wherever is comfortable. Images of mediation will depict mudras, palms facing up, or down, but if you are unsure of the meaning of all of these just sit with your palms on your knees with a straight back and spine.
- Draw the chin slightly to the chest and feel the shoulders drop, so from there you can sit up taller.
- Now take a deep inhale, as deep as you can and see if you can fill up to capacity.
- Whenever you are full, let it go and exhale.
- Do this 2 more times, then close your eyes to continue breathing deeply for 20 breaths.
- Count them in and out to yourself. Inhale one, exhale one, inhale two, exhale two
You have sat for 2 minutes “non-doing”. Externally, you seem to not be doing anything at all, but internally everything is happening for you. Simply sitting, observing, meditating if you will, and being in the present with the breath. That is really all it takes to cultivate and receive the benefits of a regular breath work routine. Try that again before you go to bed, tomorrow when you wake up, and keep on going with it.
I first turned to breath work when my brother passed. It had been almost a year and I still felt triggered to cry whenever something reminded me of him. Also called emotional hygiene, it is important to be mindful of our psychological health and adopting brief daily habits to monitor and address psychological wounds when we sustain them. Read: Health Tips to End a Decade for how I practice this.
Back to the Breath
Give yourself a #breathbreak whenever you need it. You’ll find over time that breathing deeply calms the monkey mind. Next time you are angry, want to react, or even need to write something important, let vital oxygen into your system and through you so you are not reacting or being reactive, but being conscious.
The more you practice deep breathing the easier and more natural it becomes. I have been sharing a daily #breathbreak on IGS and have heard amazing stories of how these pauses in the day have helped you. Thank you for going on this beautiful journey of breath with me.