Updated: May 29
More than just stress reduction! A must practice for everyone.
It has become cool and hip, it's a recipe that fits in well with your meditation and spiritual awakening practice. But the reality is this new hip movement has been around for centuries, as has meditation, reiki, energy healing and connecting with our intuition for guidance.
But why is this getting attention - because it is so simple and can be done anywhere, anytime - actually you want to make this a natural part of your day and the benefits are endless. It also gives you power back over your health and wellbeing.
So, what is it and how is it different to our normal breathing? Conscious breathing means getting out of our automatic breathing and putting our attention onto our breath. It involves bringing our awareness to how our breath is moving around our body and more importantly how we bring the breath into our body. It's intentional manipulation of breath.
You can try the pranic breathing, inhaling through your nose into the chest (allowing it to fill and expand), holding it a few seconds and exhaling through your nose.
"Deep breaths are more efficient: they allow your body to fully exchange incoming oxygen with outgoing carbon dioxide. They have also been shown to slow the heartbeat, lower or stabilize blood pressure and lower stress. To experience deep breathing, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, causing your stomach to rise and expand. Exhale fully."
Or if that is too hard then lets keep it simple:
Take a normal inhale, then on the exhale allow it to slowly release. That's it! Try to extend the exhale further each time. Relax your shoulders, allow your eyes to close or soften and be present with your breath.
Do this every day, even better a few times a day. You can use this technique to help settle your nervous system when you are feeling anxious or stressed. But with practice as you continue to do this it will help reduce the stress and anxiety and become your new normal.
Because feeling great is not enough what does science say about this?
Greater reduction in anxiety, negative emotions and stress
Lower blood pressure
Increase clarity and cognitive function
Slowing and stabilizing the heart rate
Bringing you into the present moment, letting go of your worries and fears
Lower levels of cortisol
"Slow, deep breathing increases the activity of the vagus nerve, a part of parasympathetic nervous system; the vagus nerve controls and also measures the activity of many internal organs."
If you love the science, like I do then please click all the links below to read the hundreds of studies done on all the amazing benefits of conscious breathing. Or even better just try it!