Are your inhalations smooth, continuous and prolonged? Once you’ve taken a breath do you hold it for a period of time that enables your lungs to absorb as much oxygen as your body needs? Do you exhale fully and allow your chest to relax?
Due to the pace of life, daily worries and physical posture, the majority of us don’t breathe fully and properly. This means our mind and body cannot function at its best. This affects our quality of thought and immunity to disease. It also affects our perceptions of pain and the way we respond to the environment around us. Controlled breathing practice enables our mind and body to function optimally thus improving our blood pressure, immunity, memory and coping strategies to name a few! There are numerous breathing exercises so I won’t overwhelm you. The following breathing technique is useful for times of feeling stressed, anxious or rushed. Regular practice of this technique can also improve health and sleep as it gently massages the internal organs, relaxes the abdominal area thus improving the blood flow to muscle and nerve centres.
Abdominal Breathing (Pranayama)
Lie on your back or sit comfortably and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose and allow your stomach to relax and inflate fully. Your stomach should rise as your diaphragm flattens to allow your lungs expand with air. Use the hand on your chest to check the chest is barely moving. Exhale and repeat. Practice 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths for 10 minutes each day (this can be broken down into minute long sections), to experience reductions to heart rate and blood pressure.
If you would like to improve your mental, physical and spiritual being with more breathing techniques then please contact me.