Breathing is something we all do without any thought, thank goodness or we wouldn't be here!!!!
But how many of us breathe as effectively as we can or even know how much a good deep breath can benefit us...
Try it now... Go on, take a deep breath, hold it for a second or two then release it as slow as possible....
How did that feel?
I promise your body will have thanked you for that :0) But how far down did that breath go?
If you don't know then no you are not breathing to your full potential and bodies benefit.
There are many benefits :
- It can be a natural pain killer
- Improves your blood flow around your body
- Relaxes and calms you
- Improves sleep
- Improves digestion
To name but a few
Believe it or not breathing takes practice. Obviously not the basic breathing (or at least I hope you don't need to practice that!)
With practice the deep breathing becomes natural and more of a habit.
To start try this little exercise....
Breath in for the count of 3 or 4, hold your breath for the count of 3 or 4 and breathe it out slowly to the same count of 3 or 4.
If this feels too much try for the count of 2 and build up slowly.
Once this feels comfortable, breath in for the count of 3 or 4 again and hold it for 3 but when you breath out try to let the out breath last longer than the in breath.
The next stage is to look at where your breath is going.
When you take a breath in really concentrate on where your breath goes within your body, do you feel your chest rise?
On your next breath really focus on your chest, feel it filling with air, hold it then breath in a little more really feel your rib cage opening....then let the breath out very slowly.
On the next breath...breathe to your chest, hold it, breathe a little deeper in to feel your ribs expanding, hold it, then breathe a bit deeper to feel your stomach fill up with your breath, hold it and when you release it try to let the out breath last longer than your in breath.
Each time you do this try and hold your breath in and out for one count longer...if it feels uncomfortable keep on that count for a while then build up.
You will be surprised at the difference breathing fully makes.
You can go further and really feel your breath, for example can you feel the temperature difference between the in and out breaths? Perhaps you can see the breaths as colours, see the breathe swirling through your body, is it the same colour on the way in as the way out? Try lying with your partner and matching each others breaths, long slow very deep breaths in time with each other...that simple act brings a closeness that will surprise you.
If you are having trouble getting to sleep, try seeing if you can visualise your breath right down to your toes...
Let me know how you get on....have you seen the benefits of changing your breathing?