Welcome to this weeks Mindful Monday Blog Post!
The way we breath can have effects on our nervous systems which over time if we are not careful can create conditions in our bodily environment that are perfect for illness and injury.
Below is some information on the type of Pranayama (breathing) and its effects on the body:
· Abdominal breathing = sedating
· Thoracic breathing = arousing and can stabilize the core
· Inhale = exhale, balancing for nervous system overall (inhale as long as exhale)
· Inhale > exhale, arousing and stimulating – up-regulating to nervous system (sympathetic dominance)
· Exhale > inhale, sedating and down-regulating to nervous system (parasympathetic dominance)
Now that we have learned more about our breath, let’s turn to HOW to breath more mindfully. Here are three different ways to try it out in your day!
1. Bare Attention Breathing: This is your natural breathing. The amount of oxygen required for the body to function. This type of breathing is involuntary, no management or control is used. You watch and observe the process of breathing without judgement.
- Observe the natural volume of breath entering and exiting the lungs
- There is no need to manage the breath at all; simply observe the four parts of the breath as they occur.
- Focus exclusively on observing the breath’s behavior, must as a scientist observes its subject.
2. Abdominal Breathing: This type of breathing exercise helps strengthen your diaphragm, which is why it is also referred to as Diaphragmatic Breathing. It helps lower stress level, reduce blood pressure and regulate other processes occurring in the body which is why it is often used at the beginning of meditation and relaxation. The most basic way to do Diaphragmatic breathing is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Breathing into the belly, allowing it the expand without forcing it to do so. It will increase its range of motion overtime with practice and repetition.
· Inhale and feel the abdomen balloon as the diaphragm impresses itself upon the gut.
· Exhale and feel the ballooned abdomen deflate.
· Concentrate exclusively on the rising and falling of the belly as you breathe.
· There is no need to force the abdomen into a shape; use your proprioception and feel the dome-shaped muscles of the diaphragm contracting on inhale and then relaxing on exhale.
· Mentally repeat this phrase to yourself: “Belly rise: belly fall.
3. Yogic Complete Breath: is the wave-like combination of abdominal-thoracic breathing – inhale is active; exhalation can be either active or passive.
· Inhale with the abdominal breath filling the lungs to 60 percent full
· Begin moving the same inhalation into the ribs and lungs to complete the breath.
· Gently exhale, either actively or passively.
· The breath is a seamless wave moving from the abdomen to the upper chest – no strain, just a gentle perpetual wave.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks’ Mindful Monday blog! If you tried some mindful breathing throughout the week or whenever you decide to try it, I would love to hear about your experience!