Breathing. We all do it, we all think we do it well but do we really? The amount of forms of exercise and fitness that focus on your breathing can teach you how badly you are breathing.
One little breath can be manipulated to have such a dramatic difference. Those who practice yoga know what a lion’s breath can do, a huge sigh that releases tension and lets you clear out stale air that’s been stored in your lungs for longer than needed.
Then of course there is the fire breath, shallow, fast paced breaths that build up your body’s temperature and can be a workout in their own right!!
Then for those of you who swim, there’s the very shallow and slow breaths. You literally have a tiny handful of seconds to take a breath but that breath only needs to last the next handful of strokes until you’re back up again. It’s slow to keep your body calm and relaxed and very shallow so you don't keep yourself too buoyant.
So why don’t you take some time right now and focus on your breathing. Try not to change it or influence it. Just close your eyes, try and block out all the sound around you. Just turn your gaze inwards, assess your breathing. Is it shallow? Is it deep? Is it fast? Is it slow? Now start playing with it. Make it deeper, longer and slower. What effect does it have on your body? How about if you speed it up and keep them deep? And make it shallow?
Playing with breath, learning the effect it has on your own body is a huge step towards being more self-aware. Then when you’re mood is needing a bit of a switch up, use your breath.
At work and feeling quite lethargic and sleepy? Speed your breathing up, make it shallower, start heating your body up and you might see a big difference in your energy levels.
Agitated, stressed or just generally fidgety? Slow your breathing down, make them longer, deeper and try and fill every part of your lungs. What difference does it make? Do you feel more relaxed?
Have fun with your breath. Play with it, see what difference it can make!
Have fun, ciao for now x
Thank you for this. I have extreme anxiety and I never realized how important it is to set aside time to breathe deeply.
People assume that as long as they breathe, they are fine, but learning to breathe differently and with the right emphasis can make a huge difference. I hope you enjoy your new lesson in re-learning how to breathe!
You’re so right! Thank you, we just need to spread this message around.