Posted by Fay Victoria Durrant 393 Days Ago
(the foundation of wellness and the secret tool against stress and overwhelm)
So many of us seem to have lost the ability to breathe deeply. It is something I have noticed over and over in clinics and classes. When I'm teaching or with regular clients in the therapy room I have a chance to work on this a bit more, and I haven't worked with a single person yet, who hasn't felt better for it.
An integral part of any good yoga class, the focus on the breath helps to calm our nervous system quite dramatically. if you think about it more primally short quick breathing makes our nervous system think that we are in a danger situation, and can trigger the release of the fight or flight stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline ) whilst done correctly slow deep breathing literally calms it and us down and thus gives our already frazzzled adrenals a rest.
Like anything it can take a bit of practice. If you are a very shallow breather it can take time to learn to deepen the breath. You need to release and relax the physical tension & try switching you head of for a few seconds. but it is such an effective simple and free technique that it is well worth investing a few minutes a week in,
1) Sit or stand upright with good(ish!) posture, or lie comfortably on your back.
2) Breath in !
If you've ever done any yoga or pilates this can help, If not you simply need to imagine your self becoming taller, elongating the spine and trying to draw your head up away from your shoulders as you breath in,
Focus mostly on the breath while bringing an awarnes to your whole body and noticing any tension in an areas such as shoulders and jaw, that you need to release
3) Breathe out, trying to make the out breath as slow as the in breath, at the same time imagine releasing any tension that you discovered ( often in the face head and shoulders, )
Physically drop your shoulders back down if they crept up on the in breath (nearly everyone's do!)
4) Try this a few times.
Closing your eyes can help focus on the breath, andusing this to is a good idea if you are using these techniques as a tool to help you sleep.
If your mind keeps wandering, try counting the breath, this not only keeps you focused almost like meditation, but also helps you to see when you are improving, and helps to ensure that your out breath matches the in.
Don't be disheartened if even 4 seconds seems like an impossibility,
You may start only being able to breath in for 2 seconds but with practice soon get up to 8 like a true yogi!
You can use this technique safely anywhere, A favourite time for me is when driving as I often do long journey and do not enjoy it at all! Just dont close you eyes while driving.
When you got to grips with the breath you can start to incorporate the technique with the stretches or you can keep it as a stand alone survival technique.
Most of the time it can also be helpful to shut your eyes while doing it , if you feel safe and comfortable to do so. However please DO NOT shut your eyes if you do it while driving!