It sounds quite simple, we breathe and we don't even try! It just happens! From the minute we are born, to that last breath before we finish up, pack our spirit-bags and move on to the next stage of our evolution (which ever one you choose).
We humans are a clever bunch when it comes to breathing. We're breathing all over the place and not even paying attention to how much we are breathing. Breathing in the morning, breathing in the afternoon, all the time from dawn till dusk and every minute in between.
We'd only notice if the breathing stopped, then we panic, kickstart the breathing engine and (hopefully) keep on purring.
I like to spend some time paying attention my my breath. How it feels to even out my inhales and my exhales, hold my breath, fill my lungs, squeeze the belly, explore differnt types of Pranayama (Humming Bee breath is a winner, please try).
Here is a fact: Most of us only use 30% of our lungs in daily life. We are a planet of shallow breathers! That 'putting along', breathing all day we all do is then kicked into over drive with exercise, stress, anxiety, fear, love, the whole rainbow of emotions we are blessed with which alter our moods and unbeknownst to most, our breath.
Spending a few minutes each day directing our attention to our inhales and exhales will have a great impact on how we feel during the day. If we practice how to breathe, we can control the way we handle any situation which comes our way. For those of us living in a big city (mine being London), you'll understand that sometimes just walking out the front door can see you confronted with an enslaught of madness ('mad' literally being a fundimental word here, there are a lot of angry people in the big city - my guess is, they've forgotten how to breathe).
Below are a couple of my personal favourites. Simple counted breath - counting your inhales and matching them with your exhales and humming bee breath - a favourite of mine and something a close friend taught me recently - defintiely worth a try.
I encourage you to give them ago. Take just a few minutes of your time (there are 1440 of them in a day!) and peace-out with some lovely pro-active breathing.
Enjoy exploring the depths of our constant, loyal life source!
The 5-6-7 (or Counted Breath) Exercise
This breathing exercise is simple, takes almost no time and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise, keeping your lipis closed and breathing through the nose.
Exhale completely through your mouth.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of five.
Hold your breath for a count of five.
Exhale completely through your nose for a count of five.
This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of five breaths.
Two more rounds of breath (four cycles) follow, increasing the count by one (5-6-7).
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Do it at least twice a day.
Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens - before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it!
Humming Bee Breath
Humming Bee breath is very effective in instantly calming your mind down. It is one of the best breathing exercises to release the mind of agitation, frustration or anxiety and get rid of anger. A simple-to-do technique, can be practiced anywhere at work or home, and an instant option available to de-stress yourself.
Sit up straight in a quiet, well ventilated room with your eyes closed.
Place your index fingers on your ears.
Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, make a loud humming sound like a bee.
Breathe in again and continue the same pattern for 6-7 times.
Keep your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within. Humming Bee breath contributes positively by relieving tension, anger and anxiety. It is a very effective breathing technique for people suffering from hypertension as it calms down the agitated mind. It gives relief if you're feeling hot or have a slight headache, improves concentration and memory, builds confidence and helps in reducing blood pressure.