If you are reading this then you have committed to doing some breath work with me. This will take less than five minutes. Have a stopwatch out!
First: For one minute, I want you to take the fewest amount of inhales and exhales as possible. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Go.
“If you can rhythmically slow down your breath to four breaths a minute, you can indirectly control your mind and slow it down from its obnoxious behavior.” - Harbhajan Singh Yogi
That was nice. How many did you get?
Next: Stretch out your neck. Take as many breaths as possible in one minute - inhaling through the mouth with a small round opening filling up the belly, exhaling through the mouth.
Great. How do you feel? How many did you get?
Next: Relax your face and jaw. Take one big belly breath in through the mouth, exhale all the way out until your belly pulls in and your abs squeeze. Hold this with zero air left in your lungs. See how long you can go. Take a smooth breath in when you’re finished.
Ahhh. How was that?
Great work. How do you feel? What feelings or words pop in your head? Note these within 10 seconds.
I am a mental health therapist. I do both short term and long term therapy and all of my clients practice meditation, mindfulness, and breath work. I also coach fitness. The one common denominator of my sessions is the breath. In both practices, if we can utilize deep breathing more, we gain clarity, we can move better, we can improve our mobility, we can gain more control over our next moment. And can’t we all afford some clarity and groundedness! Over the thousands of hours with my clients, my leading theory is that we are as healthy as our breath. In close second is our spine. And oh are they related!
That is all. I wanted to keep this short. I will close this article by suggesting that when you leave, you don't start a breathing practice. I suggest first to start becoming aware of your breath. Every day. If you can do that, it will lead you to great places both in your mind and in your body. I hope to breathe with you soon!
“To control your life, control your mind. To control your mind, control your breath.” - Stephen Richards, Author