Likely you've heard that slow deep breaths can help decrease stress and increase relaxation. Did you know its gaining popularity and becoming a practise and even a therapy?
I have been a big fan of breath-work for several years. Yes this deep, slow breathing in the moment to reduce stress is wonderful AND on a longer term basis with longer guided sessions there are profound benefits that can transform your perspective and thus your life:)
The benefits I've experienced and that are documented include;
- increases energy and immunity
- better sleep
- lowers blood pressure and improves circulation
- strengthens lungs
- improves mood and self esteem
- tones the 'rest and digest' vagal nerve, decreasing cortisol
Maybe your practise starts with a personal 2-5 minute session - over time you may increase to 15 minutes a day. Any amount of focussed breathing with deep inhales and long exhales will be helpful to settle and induce inner peace.
For these shorter periods my fave would be 3 part breathing - bring the breath into:
- the lower belly,
- adding to the inhale to fill mid torso looking to note a widening of the ribs,
- then filling the upper chest
- long complete exhale, squeezing the belly to really ensure all the hair is out ( we often dont exhale all of our old air and it can become stale and not good for optimal health)
- continue until your timer goes off:) stay still for a couple minutes more and allow your breath to settle into a natural rhythm.
Another option is a guided session maybe weekly. Over the past 6 months I have been regularly participating in Josh's Monday evening 1 hour guided sessions - he leads you through a progression of different types of breathing and the support of the group is wonderful too - and her offers it free or by donation. I'll leave a link to this below if you'd like to participate by zoom. Do note to give yourself some time immediately after your session to re-centre and be with yourself for some reflection and maybe journalling.
These longer sessions can be a game changer and with more intense breath-work may arise the releasing of stored up emotions that you've been holding onto for years. They say 'our issues are in our tissues' - the body knows and stores all of our experiences. This releasing can give way to big shifts in your perspective on your life. And there are considerations to review given your unique experiences - here is a link to understand contraindications and side-effects of breath-work you'll want to review.
All practises beyond slow deep breathing for short periods of time need your personal review and please consult your medical professional and/or therapist first.
And if you are really keen once you've experienced a series of hour long sessions there are retreats - check out your leaders, their experience and the language they use to describe - it can be a transformative personal process and most involved understand this and have the deepest respect for participants and ensuring their experiences are supported even after the retreat. If you'd like any more consultation about this I'd be pleased to assist as I've been to several retreats and am practising to become a breath-work facilitator. I believe it is the optimal path to personal growth - i.e. the results relative to time, money and effort.
The key guideline is to be gentle and know that if the experience becomes too intense you can slow your breath - you are in charge of your experience. You can encounter altered states of consciousness as you allow deeper releases and trust the process more. These experiences have allowed me to trust the process.
In another series of breath-work sessions - the facilitator's mantra was 'Trust the process!'. You only bring forward and release what you ready to - the body is naturally and amazingly wise and calibrates to your capacity. And it is wise to have a personal facilitator to initially assist your experience and assuage your concern.
My enthusiasm cannot be tempered - it has provided me with so many insights, personal healing experiences and personal power - not to mention the proven physiological benefits in reference articles.
I ALWAYS feel better after a breath session. For me its provided guaranteed inner peace that is longer lasting and a new and more relaxed perspective on life - and that is at a minimum:)
So give it a try - you'll only know for sure through your own personal experience.
If you've joined us for a Somatic Stretch® class you'll know that deep directed breathing is an important part of the class. So come join me and strengthen your inner peace with a relaxing Somatic Stretch® class. It truly creates more ease and helps to resolve aches and stiffness, as well as the benefits of slow deep breathing.
Join me for Somatic Stretch® class - for more ease and inner peace.
Classes available to you for FREE or by donation.
Monday and Wednesday at 4:30pm pst. - Register Here
I look forward to seeing you:) Your body will thank you and you'll so enjoy the quiet mind and inner peace.
Here are the link to the breathing info mentioned above
Articles to review contraindications,
Josh's weekly breathing link on zoom - Monday's @6pm EDT.
SO there's a bit of a deep dive into another inner peace practise - breathing..
its the first thing we do and the last thing we do in this life!
May peace be with you,
Visionary Leader, Inner Peace