We are always breathing, yet I believe mostly unaware of it’s amazing potential~ especially in the healing process. Personally I have been practicing specialized breathing techniques which in turn unlock more energy, reduce stress levels and give me a heightened immune response that deals specifically with my auto-immune disease (LYME). Conscious breathing requires practice, patience and dedication to be fully mastered. Once you get the breathwork down you will be armed with a powerful determination and focus to explore and eventually master your mind and body. I know my body better today than I ever have~ and know this will only continue as I master my breathing practice. The most powerful aspect of breathing is controlling my stress level. It is of utmost importance for those of us dealing with Lyme Disease to control stress levels at all times as we know it only wreaks havoc on our entire system… from sleep, to digestion and even hormones.
At the beginning of every year I pick a word to signify me personally and my goals. My word for 2018 happened to be BREATHE~
“Give permission to take time to breathe, to live life, to give, to love, to reflect, to be present and to JUST BE”
I type up my goals at the end of the year for the new and upcoming year and hang a copy in my bedroom and in my office. My word BREATHE is at the very top of my goals list, along with the above quote. I read these goals to myself many times a day. When you write and recite your goals you are more likely to achieve them! This is a must for those of you who are healing! I can honestly say my goals for 2018 have been achieved and breathing has and will continue to be an important practice for me in the months and years to come.
Here are a few ways to start practicing nasal breathing from your diaphragm:
To begin with, you need to understand what diaphragm breathing looks like, and then understand what it feels like.
- Lie down on your back
- Place your left hand on your abdomen, right by your belly button
- Put your right hand on your sternum
- Inhale through your nose. You should notice the hand on your belly rising quite a bit, while the hand on your chest only moves a little bit.
- Slowly exhale through your nose. Again, there should be more movement in the hand that’s on your tummy than the one on your chest (although the latter will move a little, as your lungs are in your chest cavity, not your abs). To help emphasize the visual cue, you can try placing a shoe on your tummy, watching how it rises and falls as you continue nose breathing.
- Now inhale and exhale quickly through your mouth. See how the hand on your chest rises and falls more than the one on your belly. This is because you’ve de-emphasized your diaphragm
Once you get your diaphragm breathing down, you can practice the following breathing I use when I need to get out of a stressful situation, before going to bed or to just decompress.
Nasal Breathing to Downshift at Night + During the Day
- Commit to spending five to 10 minutes nasal breathing each evening for a week
- To begin, lie down on the floor, your bed, or a couch
- Inhale through your nose for five seconds, hold for 15 seconds, and then exhale nasally for 10 seconds. Repeat this for five to 10 minutes. Notice how you feel afterwards. I’m guessing you might use words like, “calmer,” “chilled out,” and “relaxed.”
- Anytime you feel stressed out throughout the day, switch your focus from your circumstances to your breathing. Then take a few slow nasal breaths to re-center yourself.
I learned these techniques from Laird Hamilton
Wim Hof is another great place to start when learning and practicing your breathing. He has some great techniques on YouTube that are easy to follow.
Think about how simple breathing is! Most of us are just not doing it correctly or maximizing it’s potential, so imagine if you learned and practiced the art of really breathing! I believe breathing is the most practical way to become happier, healthier and more powerful today! I guarantee it will help maximize your healing…