"When you own your breath no-one can steal your peace"
Our breathing is an automatic, involuntary function controlled by a part of the hind brain called the medulla oblongata. This means we do not have to think about breathing it happens even when we lose consciousness; it is unconscious.
We can however pay attention to our breathing and make it entirely conscious.
In doing this we alter our body chemistry in a positive way and affect the way we are feeling. We can improve our physical and mental health, reduce our anxiety levels and even stop a panic attack. We have shared different breathing techniques over the years.
This week we want to share an exciting breathing pose and technique that is truly energising.
This technique encourages us in letting go. It helps us build confidence, relieve stress and boost vitality.
The technique involves sticking the tongue out and breathing out heavily almost like a lion’s roar. In doing this, we engage the muscles of the jaw and neck. We hold a lot of tension in the face and neck and so this techniques helps gets rid of this. It also encourages us to use the diaphragm to breathe which activates the ‘Relaxation Response’.
When doing this breathing exercise we can enhance its effect by setting the intention to let go of stress and tension and old patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that no longer serve us. Sticking out the tongue can make you feel a bit self-conscious but embrace this and use it to see the lighter side which adds to the feeling of release.
Sit in a comfortable position. Ideally kneeling or crossed legged
If you cannot get down on the floor sit up straight in a chair with your spine straight and your feet planted flat on the floor.
Release the tension in your face, neck and shoulders
Place your palms on your knees and spread the fingers wide
Close your eyes and inhale deeply through the nose
As you inhale circle the shoulders back and open the shoulders and the chest. Imagine a silver thread connecting you to the cosmos, pull up through that line lengthening your upper body.
As you exhale:
1. Stick the tongue out and down towards the ground
2. Make a “ha” sound
3. Spread the fingers wide and press the palms down and out on the knees
4. Look up and inwards towards the third eye on your forehead
Repeat for 5 breaths
For the full body experience sit back on the heels in a kneeling position and part the knees.
Lean forwards press the palms into the floor in the space between the knees. If you can turn the hands so the fingers are pointing backwards towards your body do so and spread them wide
As you inhale feel the lengthening of the spine and as you do tilt the pelvis backwards slightly
As you exhale tilt the pelvis forwards slightly
Have a go, feel silly and let go of what does not serve you.
We hope you enjoy this breathing exercise.