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Lotus in Bloom

Benefits of Conscious Breathing for a Stressed Person

It doesn't matter what you eat or how much you exercise, it doesn't matter how thin or fat you are, young or old, it doesn't matter if you're not breathing properly."

(James Nestor "BREATHING. The New Science of a Forgotten Art")

1. What are the benefits of breathing practices?

We take breathing for granted, but research has shown that consciously controlled breathing can improve not only our physical and mental health, but also lead to profound inner transformations.

There are many and varied breathing techniques, starting with the ancient eastern pranayama, and ending with western-adapted techniques that are easy to use for the modern person who is always in a hurry.

Each breathing technique has a different purpose. Some of them are intended for calming down, reducing stress and anxiety, others for strengthening immunity and generating energy. Some techniques are more applicable to the treatment of birth and childhood traumas, others - to reduce addictions; there are techniques that generate heat in the body, etc.

In general, all conscious breathing techniques improve general well-being, mood, increase self-confidence, regulate the autonomic nervous system, help release tension, reduce stress levels, increase creativity, and detoxify the body.

2. Is it difficult to learn breathing practices?

Breathing practices are not difficult to learn, but some of them require the supervision of an experienced specialist.

3. What is Rebirthing breathwork

Rebirthing breathwork is a breathing technique that was adopted from the east and given to the west by Leonard D. Orr. It is a combined rhythmic breathing that induces deep relaxation and expands consciousness. When we are relaxed, we feel safer, which allows the emotional, physical and mental tensions and blocks in our body to "show up". This breathing moves energies, transforms painful feelings and sensations into peace and tranquility.

Rebirthing breathwork is used to release tensions, blocks, accumulated during birth, childhood and later, as well as to transform everyday accumulated stress.

Usually, after the session, people feel relaxed and calm, notice clarity of thoughts, feel more vital energy, joy, normal breathing becomes freer and easier.

4. Are there any principles of conscious breathing that one should know?

The most important thing is to be open to the ongoing process. During conscious breathing it is important to remember that any painful feelings or sensations that arise during the practice are temporary and as you continue to breathe with conscious connected breath, they are transformed and peace comes with it.

5. Features of Rebirthing breathwork

  • Awareness. We consciously focus on breathing and maintain it throughout the breathing session; we don't force ourselves, we feel ourselves, we increase the intensity and duration of conscious breathing only when we feel ready for it.

  • Relaxation. When we allow ourselves to relax by consciously exhaling, tensions and stresses are released more easily and simply.

  • Rhythmicity. We breathe sufficiently deeply and rhythmically.

  • Connected breathing. We breathe without stopping, we do not pause between inhalation and exhalation.

6. Modern man experiences a lot of stress and anxiety every day. What are some tips for relaxing in stressful situations using breathing techniques? Can panic attacks be controlled using breathing exercises?

In stressful situations or panic, slow down your breathing. Be sure to breathe through your nose, because breathing through your mouth activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's "flight, fight or freeze" response. So, at first just focus on your breathing, be aware, feel your body. Once you feel yourself, begin to consciously control your breathing.

Here are some useful exercises that can help in a stressful situation:

1) Breathe through your nose, slowly, evenly Inhale to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 5. If it is too difficult, slow down the breathing gradually. Slow breathing increases heart rate variability, supports heart function, and strengthens resistance to stress.

2) "Box breathing" is a breathing exercise that you can also use in stressful situations. Physiologically, it regulates breathing, fills the lungs with oxygen, lowers blood pressure; psychologically diverts attention from the stressor to the body, and repeating the exercise reduces the stress level:

Visualize the box and mentally travel around its edges, breathing in and holding your breath, respectively:

- Breathe in for 4 seconds with the first side up;

- hold your breath at the top, mentally drawing a line from left to right for 4 seconds;

- exhale while traveling down for 4 seconds;

- hold your breath at the bottom, drawing a line along the bottom edge of the box from right to left for 4 seconds.

Breathe like this at least three times, and if you have the opportunity, from 7 to 10 times.

3) To concentrate (before going to speak in front of an audience, etc.), you can apply the following breathing exercise: take 3 deep breaths and exhale, after the third exhale, hold your breath and walk until you run out of air. Repeat the exercise at least a few times.

7. How to use breathing techniques every day (not in a stressful situation) to improve/strengthen our emotional state?

I would mention a few breathing techniques that I practice myself, but there are many more.

1) As the world-famous breathing teachers Dan Brule and Patrick McKeown say, "If we want to feel the positive effects of breathing, it is enough to breathe rhythmically three times a day for five minutes at a rate of six inhalations and exhalations per minute" (inhale for 5 s and exhale for 5 s .). It helps to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure, and it also reduces the body's levels of the stress hormone cortisol by a fifth.

2) Allow yourself to yawn. Yawning is a natural way to stimulate energy circulation, and by yawning we remove energy blocks from our biological system, which allows us to better and more clearly feel what is happening in this moment.

3) Regular daily conscious connected breathing will release your breath from suppressed and shallow to free, regulate the autonomic nervous system. Give it at least 15 minutes. Sit comfortably. Focus on your breathing and take deep, connected breaths, i.e. i.e. inhaling and exhaling without pauses. Let the exhalation happen by itself, without effort, relaxing, letting go. Both the abdomen and the chest are involved in breathing at the same time. This is how you breathe during the "Rebirthing breathwork" session, only the duration of such a breathing session is significantly longer and the processes are deeper.

4) The Wim Hof method, which you will practice daily to train your body and mind and become more resistant to any external stressors:

Lie down or sit comfortably. Take 30 deep breaths, first through the belly, then through the chest (as if the air is rising in a wave) and exhale with relaxation. Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth, or breathe only through your mouth. After the last inhalation and exhalation calmly, hold the breath at the bottom. Relax, observe body sensations, heart rate, Do not breathe until you run out of air. When you feel like inhaling, take a deep breath full of lungs and hold your breath for 10-15 seconds at the top, then exhale and relax. Repeat this sequence three times. This method is usually combined with ice water quenching, but can also be used alone.

8. Could you comment on how breathing affects our health?

Each breathing technique has a slightly different effect on health, but in general, during controlled breathing, the body is alkalized, the autonomic nervous system is balanced, the level of the stress hormone cortisol decreases, and the body is detoxified. By practicing regularly, breathing becomes free, unblocked, we feel calmer, more harmonious, more self-confident, and have more energy.


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