“Every breath we take can bring us closer to better health“– Paul Ebeling
Every breath we take can bring us closer to better health, mentally, physically and emotionally. By slowing down and balancing the natural breathing pattern, you can harmonize and balance both the body and brain.
Breathing techniques have long been used to help shift the state of body and mind. Most practices aim to slow down the stress response by engaging the PNS (parasympathetic nervous system), or relaxation response, which is cued by the pace and depth of our breathing.
This is the calmer member of the nervous system, as opposed to the SNS (sympathetic nervous system, that is associated with our “fight or flight” response.
Short, shallow breaths trigger a sense of concern leading to the release of stress hormones for both short and long-term survival, fuller breaths that have a slightly extended exhale help relax the body and quiet the mind.
Research from Stanford University shows that most people benefit from a breathing rate of approximately 5.5 breaths per min, which means breathing in to a count of about 5 and out to a count of 5 or 6.
Breathwork is one of the most important aspects of the practice of yoga and has used for centuries to calm the body and mind.
Breathwork reduces stress and anxiety, support restful sleep, ease pain, and increase attention and focus. Breathwork can help 1 to connect to a calm, quiet place within to experience greater clarity.
The American Institute of Stress says that breathing evokes the relaxation response made famous by Dr. Herbert Benson. Simple focused breathing helps relieve stress and tension in minutes. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to the brain and stimulates the PNS, which promotes a sense of calmness.
The PNS calms the body by bringing the heart and breath rates back to normal.
When our breath is steady, so is our mind, as we control and shape our breath, we are able to physically affect our brain’s control regions to help regulate blood pressure, emotional control, improve memory and so much more.
With just 2 breathing exercises, you will become aware of how they relax not only our body physically, but mentally too.
Deep sigh: A deep sigh is the body-brain’s natural way to release tension and reset your nervous system. Simply breathe in fully through the nose, then audibly sigh, breathing out longer on the exhale. Deep sighs return the mind and body back to a more balanced parasympathetic state.
1:2 Breath: Through the nose, inhale to a count or 3 or 4 and exhale 2X as long. A Key reasons that breathing techniques foster a long, smooth exhale are so beneficial is because they support the PNS, reducing stress and its effects on the body and mind.
Learn to practice intentional breathing for 10-20 mins each morning and anchor yourself into a calming, clarifying brain-body technique that can then be used quickly, in a matter of 30 secs or less, to help you recharge throughout the day as needed.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively, Breathe