Just Breathe. The Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Specific habits can be thought of as a cornerstone habits. They create a chain of consequential positive habits. Breathing well is one of the most important cornerstone habit we can have.

From our first to our last breath, we breathe around 600 million times and often we take it for granted. Could your focus on your breath change if you knew that your breath in the crucial link between your mind and your body? Probably yes, isn’t it?

The respiratory system is the only system in the body that works both consciously and unconsciously. It affects how all our other internal system work (immune and cardiocirculatory system, digestion, nervous system…). It affects also the brain, not only phisically (the brain uses about three times as much oxygen as muscles in the body do) but also in the quality of our thoughts: when our breath is calm our mind follows and we become more conscious about what we think.

The Body Affects the Mind and the Mind affects the Body

The authomatic stress response of our body is menaged by hypothalamus. This area of the brain functions like a command center, which in turn communcates with the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is like an accelerator. It triggers the fight-or-flight response, providing the body with a burst of energy so that it can respond to perceived dangers. The Parasympathetic Nervous System acts like a brake. It promotes the “Rest and Digest” response that calms the Body down after the danger has passed.

During Stressful Episodes the Hypothalamus activates the Sympathetic Nervous System by sending signals through the autonomic Nerves to the Adrenal Glands. These glands respond by pumping Adrenaline into the Bloodstream, that in turn increases Stress general condition as a Physical reaction.

The consequences of Uncontrolloed Stress reactions can be serious: both Phisically and Mentally. We could chronically over react to Stress and We could pay the Price in terms of Heart Desease, Depression, continuous Nervousnes, Obesity and other more or less serious Deseases.

Controlled deep Breathing has been shown to produce an Immediate Body’s “Relaxation Response”. As with the Stress Response, a number of Hormones are released in the Body; however, these Hormones slow down our Heart rate, Relax Muscles, Calm our Nerves and Improve our Immune System.

Once We start to Listen and Pay Attention to our Breath We become also more Conscious about our Mind and Body Activities. From this point We can really Start to build Strong foundations for a Better and Healthy Life.

How to Breath Properly

There are many Breathing Exercises and Techinques from both East and West Spiritual Traditions. We (at the Gold Tao) apply Cicular Connected Breathing Technique that it is very similar to Rebirthing  (a Technique ideated by Leonard Orr in the 60s ) that in turn has its Origins from Ancient Yogic Teachings. In this context we will not speak detailed about this Technique but we limit to give You the Basis of a proper Breath. They are simply Suggestions that You can start to Apply it by your own:

Learn to Breath In and Out from the Belly. Find an image for the Breath in your Stomach it might be Fire, Light or a well. This is to help you Visualize your Breath coming from the deeper part of the Lungs and helps you to stop shallow Breathing. To Breath deeply from the Belly helps you to be more in Control about your Emotions and Physical Sensations.

Relax your Breathing Mechanisms. Start to Breath standing up. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, hip-width apart. Relax Shoulders, Ankles, Knees and Hips. At the same time, feel your Spine straighten up through the Crown to the Ceiling. Keep the Head straight and Breath from the Nose. This position will help you to find more Focus and Balance.

Practise Wide Breathing and Try “Body Breathing”.  Feel yourself Expand as you Breathe. Place your hands just above your Hips on your bottom Ribs – you should feel these Expand in and out as you Breathe. There is a Belt of muscles under the Diaphragm and that’s what’s sending the Breath Out. To Expand your Breath capacity this is what you should Concentrate on: it will help to give you a longer stream of Breath.

Start to Breathe Out a little more than you Breath In. Breath will Equalises itself: you will always Breathe Back in the amount you Breathed Out. This is one of the most profound parts of Breath Training allowing the Body to Breath itself and to find spontaneously its inner Harmony.

Breathe Calmly and Regularly. In your Mind, picture a particularly Relaxing Moment. Choose any Scene you desire to Experience, such as a quiet afternoon Walk in the Nature. During this imagined trip, think of as many sensations as possible. Enjoy the Warmth of the Sun on your Face snd the Fresh Breeze in the Air.

Author: Cristina Capucci

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