If you have never paid attention to your breathing before, you are missing out on a whole world of techniques and useful applications. Many times breathing is just something we do. We don’t consider if maybe the way we are breathing isn’t quite appropriate for how we are doing, or that the way we breathe normally is a habit that can be changed.
Deep breathing and meditation have ancient origins dating back thousands of years. Yogis, Shaman, Priests, Athletes and many others from all walks of life have experimented and devised a diverse set of techniques and uses for deep breathing exercises. Just the art of being mindful of how you are breathing can be a significant revelation for many people. In times of stress, you can often calm your mind down by starting with your breath to stave off panic. Such attention to our bodies can lead to self-discovery and even help us become more relaxed and happier.
Many times we have learned breathing techniques that have been sifted through the sands of time without knowing it and either forgot how useful they were, or just forgot them all together. There are endless combinations and applications for deep breathing, but remember, you can’t fix everything with one tool, so be mindful of how you feel when using the following tips and think about whether it’s something that is useful for the situation.
It may be a bit obtuse to speak of the origins of deep breathing. It’s kind of like trying to discuss the origins of melody. As far back as recorded history there have been countless sects of society that have honed breathing techniques for meditation, concentration, and health reasons. Part of what makes us so special as human beings is the fact that we can modify our behavior and come up with novel ideas.
Deep breathing, sometimes known as bottom breathing (the act of taking air deep within the diaphragm) is the act of taking in more air than we breathe at an average pace. Drawing in air through the nostrils or mouth can have a calming effect and many meditation practices utilize this. To show you just how effective some of these ancient techniques, consider pranayama, which is the ancient art of breath control. One technique is as follows, this is a very powerful technique and give many an overwhelming feeling of calmness and changes their mental state.
A Powerful Breathing Technique
First, close your eyes and take ten shallow breaths, almost panting. You may sound and look a little crazy so make sure you are in a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. Breathe only through your mouth, quickly drawing air in and out with some force. Don’t hurt yourself but be vigorous. If you are doing this properly you will sound like a gorilla. Make a “Who” wound when you breathe out and a “Ha” sound when you breathe in. Like so: OOOH, AAAH, OOOH, AAAH and so on.
Do this ten times. Immediately after, take in ten deep, deep breathes, as far as you can draw in and out without straining. You will immediately feel light headed and very relaxed after your tenth breath. Many people report the feeling of being an infant that has just received their mother’s milk.
Start Investigating Your Breath
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Research some other breathing techniques and discover what kinds of benefits they can bring. One very relaxing thing I like to do is breath only through my nostrils, in any position but preferably sitting upright, and focus only on my breath. Draw in and repeat in your mind “In,” and draw out repeating “Out.” If you have trouble keeping focus, time yourself. Try it for five minutes and try to slowly work your way up to 20 and beyond. You will notice a calm state of relaxation take over and this kind of focus can bleed over into many aspects of your life.
Meditation certainly helps in reducing stress levels and increasing inner peace. It revitalizes your mind, body and soul and keeps you rejuvenated throughout life! Do try practicing meditation and feel the difference! Happy practicing!