Change Your Breath. Change Your Life.
We take about 20 000 breaths a day. The rhythm, timing and nature of those breaths affect everything about us. They influence our thought patterns, decision making, blood pressure, indeed our very biochemistry and make up of your body. The way we breath affects the way we move and the way we hold our posture, our thoughts and our emotions. To change the pattern or rhythm of breath is to change everything. Not changing breath makes it very difficult to change the stuck patterns, habits and rhythms that we find ourselves in.
Changing the pattern of our 20 000 daily breaths creates the opportunity and environment for change. Most of us need to slow down and deepen our breathing.
An easy way to change the pattern of our breathing is to try box breathing.
Box breathing works like this. You breath in for a slow count of 4, hold your breath for a slow count of 4, breath out for a slow count of 4, then again hold your breath for a slow count of 4 and then repeat the cycle. This exercise on breath awareness and control is a great way to add some mindfulness to your day. If you need some clarity on a problem, or are stuck in an unwanted thought process or emotion, try box breathing for a minute or two and see if a bit of calm and clarity emerges. As you get familiar with box breathing you can add to the count and go on a cycle of 5,5,5,5. Other box breathing patterns include. Hold 2, in 5, hold 2, out 7. Just be sure to keep it comfortable and don't force it.
Box breathing is a great addition to walking, it will help soften and add fluidity to your walking, it will center your thoughts and movements, it helps you to be embodied and present in the moment.
You can add box breathing to almost any part of your daily activity, during meditation, sitting in a car at the traffic lights, during stretching or mobility, to calm and center yourself before a big event, or wind down before you sleep at night. My favorite time to work on breathing is on waking, I would like to proactively change the 20 000 breaths and decisions I take on that day. Sleep very often disconnects our breathing, many people snore or suffer from sleep apnea, our spine, torso and ribs stiffen and can become locked and rigid when we sleep. So I relax my mind and breathing at the start of the day. I also try to meditate in a kneeling position for 10 minutes in the morning, Kneeling with a firm cushion between my legs that I can sit on like a saddle creates a posture where my breathing is the most relaxed and fluid and is a great position to meditate from. When the breath is soft and relaxed, so is the mind.
Another way you can work on your breath control is to use the app called appropriately "The Breathing App" it does not use box breathing, they talk about resonant breathing which helps deepen and slow the breath down with visual or auditory cues and it has a timer. It is also free.
From their website "The Breathing App is inspired by resonance, the scientific name that describes what happens when our heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, and brainwave function come into a coherent frequency"
Good luck and enjoy the journey, breathing is the key to staying in the moment.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form