As a young girl I suffered a lot from chronic asthma attacks. I was soon taught to breathe through my abdomen. This technique has helped me during many sleepless nights. With my Yoga practice I was able to learn additional breathing techniques. Techniques that when practiced with discipline helped me overcome asthma completely.
Being an observer of how I breathe in certain situations has taught me a lot about myself. It has showed me how I breathe when I am in a stressful situation. How I breathe when I am feeling sad or anxious. Even when I am really happy. This has also taught me that I can alter my state by changing the way I inhale or exhale.
Maybe you recognize the following situation in yourself. You are just about to speak in front of a crowd, or have that important meeting with your boss. Just before you enter the room, you find yourself feeling nervous. This meeting is very important to you. Your shoulders are high, your inhalation and exhalation are superficial and fast. Now picture the location in your body… Do you feel it high in your chest. The pressure? You can change this.
Observe your body. Same situation, you feel your body automatically entering the above scenario. Now picture yourself relaxing your shoulders. Even though your state of mind is telling you different. Tell your body to relax your shoulders. Just stop for 5 seconds. Don’t enter the room yet. Place your hands on your lower abdomen, inhale fill your stomach with air. Push your hands away with your abdomen. Hold your breath for 1 second and then exhale, making sure there is no oxygen left in your lungs before you inhale again. Repeat the process, feel your body becoming calm. Your mind has to surrender and you’ll feel in a different state to enter that room.
Once you change your way of breathing you will be able to change your state of being. Changing from being anxious, nervous, angry and sad to being calm, peaceful or confident. As humans we tend to underestimate our way of breathing and the effect it has on our emotions.
As inspiration on this topic I would like to share with you this video from Yoga teacher Seane Corn. She demonstrates four key yogic breathing techniques that can help you transform your yoga practice and achieve a new level of peace, centeredness and strength.
I would love to hear about your relationship with breathing. How does it influence your life?
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Every breath you take is a moment to Relax and Create!