Good Science & Good Practice:
Let us first understand something about breathing ॐ. Breathing keeps us alive, but we rarely appreciate it, and the majority of people are not even consciously aware of their breathing. We are breathing continuously from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Whether happy or unhappy, young or old, rich or poor—whatsoever you are, it is irrelevant—one thing is for certain: between these 2 points of birth and death you must breathe. Breathing is continuous, if you forget to breathe, you will be no more. This is why you are not actually needed, your body goes on breathing even when you are asleep. Breathing goes on in spite of you. You cannot be alive without breath. So, breath and life are synonymous. That is why in the East they call the breath: Prana, Anapanasati, or Chi–meaning the vitality, the aliveness, Life energy.
Your breath is a bridge between you and your body. Your breath is also a bridge between space and time. If you can become conscious of your breath, your mind will suddenly turn to the present moment awareness.
Conscious Breathing, also known as Mindful Breathing, is focusing your attention on your breath.
The power of pausing and using conscious breath reconnects you to your inner body, quiets the turbulence of your emotions, quiets the mental thought stream chatter of your mind, and initiates your body’s relaxation response.
The conscious breath helps you to relinquish energy charged frequencies of emotions: fear, anger, stress, anxiety, panic, & grief. The conscious breath also subdues the mind-stream narrative (self-talk) of self-habitual and conditioned thought patterns that are often negative and correlated to the emotion that you are currently feeling. The conscious breath tunes you into recognizing the tension, the physical sensations, and the stress in your body. The conscious breath helps mitigate physical pain. The conscious breath also centers you in the present moment awareness; turning you deeply inward to spaciousness and stillness ॐ. The conscious breath also suppresses the brain & body’s physiological/biological response of the release of very harmful sympathetic system stress cortisol and stress hormones (i.e., Fight-Flight-Freeze response). Cortisol and stress hormones are released when you are stressed, angry, depressed, anxious, fearful, panic, or grief stricken. The conscious breath initiates the super beneficial healthy relaxation response of the parasympathetic system. The parasympathetic system calms the activity of the brain, body, emotions, thoughts.
So, here is the simple technique—the quick fix: You can pause anywhere and at anytime, and take conscious breaths. Give your complete attention to your In-breath and your Out-breath. Move with the breath consciously. Become aware, follow your In-breath—as the breath goes in–you go in. * The breath coming in and the breath going out are not two breaths—they are one breath. The same breath coming in must also go out, so there is a turn inside. Pay attention to the turn. There will be the smallest of 2 separate gaps during the turn of the circle. * A Breathing-In gap and a Breathing-Out gap; turning creating a circle.
Yes, a breath is a circle. Inhalation-Exhalation are not parallel lines because parallel lines never meet. So, breathe normally–when the breath touches your nostrils, feel it there. Then, let the breath move in and allow your belly to rise and expand. (A rise and a fall of your belly is proper breathing. If you have forgotten, then just recall watching a baby breathe. A baby breathes from its belly). As your breath goes out, your belly will go down. * Allow your Out breath to be at least 2-seconds longer than your In-breath. This longer out breath super activates the parasympathetic system (Vagus nerve X ending branches in the belly) for greater relaxation. *Remember, stay conscious and aware–Breathing In and Out—the circle created and where the turn/gaps occurs in the circle.
Anytime and Anywhere: sitting in traffic, standing on an elevator, waiting in line, where ever…take the pause of conscious breaths. Practice conscious breaths more and more so that it becomes an automatic behavioral response. The benefits of conscious breath are awesome for your physical, emotional, and mental health. Your busy racing mind will quiet becoming more alert and focused. You will become present in the moment and aware. The emotional energies of anxiety, stress, anger, grief will dissolve. The tension or pain in your body will dissipate.
You will be an inner engineer: rewiring your inner and outer programming. It is amazing. Try it. You will love it and by and by you will be taking more conscious breaths. Feeling good through conscious breathing will become your healthy addiction. You can produce this beautiful healing medicine of breathing. You can unite the body and mind and become centered. You will then feel your body more fully. Your body will tell you “Thank you” for being good to me, because it is the only home that you truly have to live. You can become truly alive, more vibrant and spacious with the conscious breath as your mind is united with the body. There is a oneness. There is stillness. There is inner peace and spaciousness. — Drop me a line and tell me how it goes. I would love to hear from you.