The Importance Of Breath
If you didn’t already know I’ve just completed my Teen Yoga training! This qualifies me to teach mindfulness techniques and Yoga to teens; this is SO huge for me! It’s practically my dream job.
Yogic principles, for me, embody everything for a well balanced, fulfilled, happy and healthy life. But one aspect sticks out for me and it always has done; pranayama – breathing.
Why is breathing so important and what are the benefits?
It’s evidenced that practicing pranayama (breath control) can promote greater concentration and mental focus, reduce fatigue, reduced anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, increase energy levels, allow muscle relaxation, decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm.
Which is massive! From just controlling the breath you can affect the body in hugely beneficial ways. Its mind blowing to see the impact breathing could have on the wider community and population; which is the reason for me banging on about it now 🙂
Controlling my breath gives me such a sense of control. When I feel like everything is buzzing around me and I can’t control what’s going on; I connect to my breath and control it.
It is said that “To control the breath is to control the mind” and I couldn’t agree more. Not only does controlling my breath give me a feeling of control, I have noticed I sleep better, have more awarenes of my own ‘self’ and my feelings and this gives me greater control over how I act and react to situations, people and my ‘stresses’.
I also notice a reduction in IBS symptoms; which is always a bonus.
How can I breathe correctly and control my breath?
How often do you breathe properly? Notice your breath now, is it shallow, fast, slow, barely moving past the top half of your ribs? Which parts of the lungs is the oxygen flowing to?
Full Yogic breath consists of bringing the breath down into the belly area (diaphragmatic breathing), expanding the ribs outwards (thoracic breathing) and filling the top part of the lung, around the collar bone (clavicular) in one smooth, full deep breath. Then allowing the breath to be let go in reverse order; top, then ribs, then tummy.
The best way to do this is to lie down and inhale through your nose; take a few deep breaths and then inhale into the tummy, followed by the chest; feel the ribs expand, lastly fill the top part of your lung. Pause then exhale contracting the ribs and then the tummy, making the exhale slightly longer than the inhale. Try breathing in for 4 and out for 6.
Try 5 breaths like this and see how you feel. It can make people dizzy momentarily as the body isn’t used to receiving so much oxygen. Try up to 10 breaths and check in with how you feel. You may only need to do this once a day, but you can do it as often as you like throughout your day.
If this can’t be done, due to circumstance, I personally just do tummy breathing whenever I can – so if Im going somewhere and I feel nervous, I quietly breathe in through my nose and expand my tummy, breathing out through my nose and allowing my tummy to fully contract; exhaling all the stale air from my lungs making my exhale longer than my inhale.
I also use this practice to check in with how I’m feeling, which is useful for me as a sensitive!
If you’re local to me (Dinnington/Anston/S25/S26) and you would like to attend a Stress busting session or a Yoga lesson please get in touch via email email@example.com
Kathryn Pearson is an EFT practitioner and Teen Yoga Teacher specialising in helping sensitive teens and young women combat stress, fear and worry. Her mission is to give the next generation the confidence and tools to break free from negative thinking and be able to follow their dreams, using EFT, a meridian energy therapy, often referred to as tapping, and other successful positive mindset practises and strategies. Visit her website www.kathrynpearson.co.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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