Experience greater ease and comfort in body, mind and soul today through conscious breathing.
Did you know that the benefits of conscious breathing are numerous? As a practice, it even offers support to one who is traveling to higher altitudes or diving to the bottom of the sea.
Dedicating time and awareness to your breathing on a regular basis can support you in waking up feeling rested and ready for each new day as well as reduce shortness of breath symptoms that often plague those spending time at altitude. And the benefits don't stop there.
Read on to learn more…
Practicing conscious breathing before a trip to the mountains - pausing to breathe fully, deeply and with awareness at some point each day – can help you adapt more easily to the high altitude. It is also a remedy to counteract the compression found when diving in the sea. Not only that, this practice also serves to strengthen the immune system, reduce high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, and it can help to reduce anxiety and depression. What’s not to like about that?
Curious? Here's are directions for exploring this simple practice. Remember, it’s never too late to begin a conscious breathing practice and anyone can do it. You can start now, right where you are.
How long can you remain relaxed and aware as you simply observe breath move in and out through your nose? Why breathe through the nose? Because that is the most relaxing way to breathe - it stimulates relaxation in the body compared to breathing through the mouth which stimulates the flight or fight mechanism.
Now... can you do this for two or three breaths, while maintaining an effort and action that is smooth and relaxed? If so, then try moving on to five breaths. You’re doing it! This is the practice of conscious breathing.
Start slowly, breathing with total attention while maintaining a relaxed attitude for just three – five breaths. Do that for a few days… Once that becomes comfortable and you find that you sort of like it, then it's time to slowly expand the practice. Start to do this every day. At the same time every day. A few times throughout every day... Then add another breath or two every week to what has become a regular practice. Add a few more if it’s easy and you feel good. Never push, strive or judge your effort.
Allow this to become a regular practice that is calming, nourishing and something to look forward to each day. Soon this practice may become a regular habit. Perhaps, because of its calming effect, you’ll find yourself wanting to arrive at business meetings five minutes early just so you can take a few conscious breaths before the meeting begins. You may find yourself “doing” conscious breathing in traffic jams, or when the kids are yelling, or you’re running late to meet a friend… It's a great practice before an exam at school! I hope that you will find that this practice can be applied anywhere, any time.
Take it with you wherever you go! If you begin this practice before you head to the mountains on vacation, or take that scuba diving trip in the tropics, you might find that the feelings of being comfortable and rested wherever you go travel with you, even as the altitude rises or you dive down deep.
Questions? Seeking more information? Check back for posts by Yoga Therapist Sharon Harvey Alexander or contact her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make this a regular practice and begin to notice results. Chances are you will feel better at home and on the road, too. Cultivating better health today is a just breath away. Enjoy!