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  • Resilient Practice

Conscious Breathing


“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.

~Amit Ray

 

Every breath we take truly is a gift.

 

Along with the life it gifts us, when we control it we can enjoy a host of physical and psychological benefits. In view of this we thought it was time for a breathing blog.

 

When we feel the extremes of many emotions our breathing gets out of control. When we are upset or anxious it speeds up and becomes less effective. In a panic attack it can feel difficult to breathe at all and fear can leave us paralysed and literally breathless.

 

Pleasure can have a similar effect and many of us will have laughed so hard we need to catch our breath. A sudden pleasant surprise can make us catch our breath and fun activities can again leave us breathless.

 

Perhaps then, it is extremes of emotion that affect how we breathe.

 

Pranyama is the term for the practice of breath control and is a vital part of Yoga.

 

The beneficial effect of controlling our breath is extremely well researched with a plethora of studies that confirm this.

 

They show in the acute phase, a down-regulation of the fight-flight response and over time a positive effect on our mood. Breathwork improves our cognition and focus. Physically it benefits our cardiovascular system (heart and lungs) with a reduction in blood pressure. It improves the quality of our sleep, helps boost our immune system, and can be associated with a reduction in the intensity of pain.  

 

In fact, conscious breathing has been known to be beneficial long before it was studied scientifically; we have always known.

 

When we come across anyone who is distressed, or when we ourselves are upset, we know to breathe. When we are preparing ourselves for an interview, a meeting, or any difficult situation, we take a deep breath. Before we meditate and connect with the divine we always start with our breath.

 

As we have said before, this is a superpower that is accessible to us all.


Be conscious of your breath and know that is can influence how you feel and in turn alter your experience in just a few moments. Regular practice leads to better health and wellbeing.

 

Stay in the present moment and breathe and all will be well.

 


Try this:


Sit in a quiet comfortable space with your spine straight


Take three deep breaths


Relax your shoulders


Allow the tension to drain from your brow and jaw


Notice the rhythm of your breath


The tidal quality


Note the depth of each inhalation


Feel the air as it rushes into the lungs, sustaining and nourishing


Keep your breaths deep and even


Increase the depth and length of each inhalation


Match the exhalation


Slower


Deeper


Allow thoughts to slip away unnoticed


Feel the energy flooding up from the ground beneath and down from the cosmos above


Abundance


Peace


You are connected


You are whole


You are free



For more insights and a host of tools and techniques for exploring the Self and improving your human experience see our book:

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