Hello darling Flow friends,
I’m really excited to share with you my favourite breathwork practices because, learning how to breath properly changed my life.
As an asthmatic child, breathing was actually something I feared, and when I began to understand how to harness this magical force, I healed a lot of old wounds.
The important thing to remember is that breathing it is a practice, although it is something we all do automatically, and because it is such an unconscious part of our world, we don’t really think much about it, and as a result we can get into some pretty poor breathing habits.
There is a lot of negative health implications linked to poor breathing habits.
The trouble starts when our gas exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen is not correctly balanced, this leads us to all kinds of different health issues, essentially how we breath is linked to how we sleep, how we feel, and how we operate in the world.
The breath and the nervous system are in constant communication, and without even realizing it, our poor breathing, can be causing all kinds of anxiety, stress, reactivity, poor digestion, and foggy brain just to name a few.
The breath really is our own super power, when utilized it helps to refocus our attention, give us a much a much needed energy boost, and importantly is helps to dampen our over reactive tendencies.
I think because its’ so simple, people under value the importance and nourishing potential of the breath.
"Breath is life, it sparks fire, it tells the truth"
Harnessing your super power
We have 2 styles of breathing, we can breath though our mouth or our nose, mouth breathing is usually looked upon poorly by medical experts. Inhalation though the mouth elevates our sympathetic nervous system, which is our Fight Flight or Freeze system, in that order, and there are lots of studies to support the degradation of our health through excessive mouth breathing.
When we start to the feel our stress rising, we are shifting in to our sympathetic nervous function, which is more instinctive and reactive response system.
We have a very short window to regulate our system before we start to loose our cool.
This elevation really is a felt sensation, you know it when its happening, and you’ll feel it rising in the body, it might feel like a jab in the stomach, a tight chest or dry throat, that sweaty tingling of the skin or a hot flush.
This response used to be really good to get us off the savanna and out of harm way, by giving us a huge kick of adrenaline, and flipping us into pure survival mood, but in our modern daily life its causing mayhem.
By using the nasal breath, we deactivate that Fight or Flight response, and we activate our parasympathetic nervous system, this is our Calming Rest and Digest response.
This way we are tapping into our prefrontal cortex, or our executive function, where we make the most clear and logical decisions, when we are functioning in our parasympathetic nervous system we move through life more calmly and with less chaos.
When we breathe in slowly though the nose, we give the body the time for the exchange of the oxygen with carbon dioxide in the cells, on the exhale we release 70% of our stress hormones, the other ways they are released are through sweat and movement, side note, when we breath though the nose we also create a gas in the nasal cavity with help dilate the air sacks in the lungs, it also cleanses the air and heats or cools in to the right temperature for the lungs.
Full complete slow breathing is the best way to regulate us back into our executive function and out of that Fight or Flight.
In most ancient cultures, breath has been used as medicine, and different practices are used for different health concerns or outcomes.
Today, we explore 3 easy practices that help to retrain the brain to stay present, calm and centred.
Alternate nostril breathing.
This breathwork helps to regulate our hormones, balance the activity in our left and right hemispheres of the brain, and calm down the nervous system.
3 part breathing/complete breath.
Breathing into the 3 parts of our breathing system, the belly, the diaphragm, then into the upper chest.
Using one had on the belly, and one hand on the side of the ribs for reference.
Technique - 3 short breathes into those 3 areas, and then a long breath out through your nose, if you can repeat 10 x
This breathing technique is used by the SAS and other military operations, where their people have to go into incredibly stressful situations and they need to keep a crystal clear mind.
This breath is used in times of anxiety, and when you need to calm down FAST, and be ready to go into the situation with a really clear mind.
Technique - Breath in through the nose for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out through the mouth for 4 counts, hold empty or 4 counts, if you can repeat for 5 mins.
the power of your breath
So dear friends, whenever the world feels like it is spinning too fast, and you need to tap in your inner store house of calm, use one of the above techniques to restore, recentre and renew.
Sending love and blessing, till next we meet.