The power of our breath

Following on from my piece about mindfulness meditation, let’s talk more about the power of our breath.

Our autonomic nervous system comprises two systems, sympathetic and parasympathetic. Sympathetic being our fight or flight and parasympathetic being our rest and digest. Modern life tends to put many of us in a constant state of fight or flight which, coupled with the fact we all tend to over breathe, places us into a state of hyperventilation – like driving a car with your foot on the accelerator and brake simultaneously.

Generally, our inhales tend to promote our sympathetic and our exhales tend to promote our parasympathetic system.

Focusing on our breathing really helps, not only as a focus and distraction from thoughts, but also as a way of creating equal cyclical breathing patterns which regulates a more harmonious heart rate and state of being.

To start, try these simple steps:

  1. Set your alarm for three minutes.
  2. Be comfortable – either lying down or sitting with your feet on the floor and hands relaxed.
  3. If you are sitting – feel your back against the chair, head slightly down, shoulders relaxed, eyes closed.
  4. Start with relaxed and equal cyclical breaths through your nose (or mouth if you can’t breath through your nose) of around five seconds in and five seconds out.
  5. Visualise the tip of your nose as the air passes, count (in your head) your breaths in and out.
  6. As thoughts come into your mind, try not to judge them, let them pass and gently bring your focus back to your breath. Imagine meditation as the sun on your face and your thoughts as the clouds gently passing the sun.
  7. Continue until you hear your alarm.
  8. After a few sessions, try extending the period to five minutes and then 10.

For more on the power of breath, watch my video and download the pdf resource here. Read the full piece and watch the video on mindfulness meditation here.

Like this? Please share it