"There is one common flow, one common breathing.
All things are in sympathy."
Before I became a fabulous blues diva I was a hyptnotist, specialising in behavior modification, memory retreival & past life regression. As a hyptnotist I used focused breathing to put my clients in an altered state of conciousness. Breathing helped them relax and allow what their subconcious had concealed to be revealed.
Since 2001 I've been praciticing Yoga. All the great teachers of Yoga down through the ages have stressed the importance of focused breathing to help calm the mind & body. You need to be calm & breath right to get the benefit of exercise, be it Hatha poses, aerobics classes, running or lifting in a gym.
Millions of people have trouble sleeping because of racing thoughts. The Yogis call our minds "drunken monkeys" that race from one thought to the next, getting us all agitated. Controlling that monkey is the key to calm.
"I'm already breathing!" You pant, sweat breaking out on your brow "I don't have time for this!"
Yes, you're breathing, but check yourself: most people breathe up in their collar bones, short, shallow breaths. At a point of stress or exertion most people hold their breath, cutting off their oxygen all together. You need that oxygen to blood thing to happen so you can think & all your parts can work right! Cutting your oxygen is a sure sign to your body that you're being chased by a carnivore & you need to run like hell. It turns on the adrenaline.
We live in a world that is full of stress. For your poor body, it's one adrenaline pumping situation after another. After awhile your adrenal glands get tired & your body starts breaking down. The md's write you a script & send you on your way. Without techniques to get control of your stressors you'll end up on multiple meds making some pharmaceutical company rich & your liver will pay the price. Much better would be to practive deep, yogic breathing for a few minutes every day & again if a stressful situation comes up.
Here's how to do it: Sit up straight. Close your eyes. Close your mouth & inhale through your nose to a slow count of 3. Hold it for 3 & exhale to a count of 6. Breath into your tummy so your body expands like a bellows. (This is the secret to power house singing too!) To keep your mind focused have it count for you. If you get another thought just pull your mind back to breathing. A few focused breaths does wonders, try it.
When I can't sleep I use yogic breathing, while imagining each part of my body relaxing with the exhale, starting with my feet & working up to my face. I hold a lot of tension in my jaw, so I concentrate on breathing into all the parts of my head. A relaxed face gets fewer wrinkles so it looks younger longer. If I'm still awake I go through my internal organs & relax them too.
Your breath can enhance your life, help you sleep, get better focus, stay in controll of your emotions. It's free, it's easy, just breath & feel more fabulous!