smile, breathe and go slowly
thich nhat hanh
Breathing is the most important thing we do in life. Yet, do we breathe as effectively as we could to gives us optimum health, energy and joie de vivre?
benefits of effective breathing
It is only when you sit down for a moment do you sense your breath. Even then, you can be too busy thinking that it goes unnoticed. Breathing is intrinsically part of us. Its life force is so easy to take for granted. Yet, if you were asked how do you breathe, you wouldn’t be able to answer.
Most of us are shallow breathers, forever needing more air, because we are too busy talking, doing, gulping down our food and in a constant state of stress. In order to get more breath to fill our lungs, we take big deep breaths from our upper chest to fill our lungs. However, this way we don’t release enough carbon dioxide from our lungs and get sufficient oxygen into our lungs creating imbalances in our body (a simplified explanation).
Through effective conscious breathing your release stress from your body. This creates a sense of well-being. Your body feels alive. You are ready to conquer the world. It helps calm your nerves, clear your mind, and support your emotions and physical well-being. It reduces stress promoting a sense of peace and calm.
3 easy breathing exercises
stop and sigh
this is a good one to do as many times a day as you need. Pause whenever you want, take a good breathe in and sigh. As you do so, feel the tension leaving your body and yourself relaxing.
inhale to 3, exhale to 6
Initially start with a 3 to 6 ratio so you don’t run out of breath. All you need to do is gently inhale counting to 3 and exhaling counting to 6. Take note of how much air you take in and how quickly you exhale. This takes a bit of practice. Then as it becomes easier for you, extend the inhalation and exhalation out to 4 to 8 or even 6 to 12.
Sometimes all it takes is to sit quietly and breathe. Put one hand onto your belly and gently allow the natural rhythm of your breath deepen. Follow the ebb and flow of your breath up the spine as you inhale and back down the spine as you exhale.
As Marcus Aurelius said: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au
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