Showing posts with label Breathe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breathe. Show all posts

6 Step Mindfulness Exercise to Find the Breath


The body breathes continually, and the breath moves continually. Not only is your breath the ideal place to start, but it's also a constant that you can return to whenever you need a little centering. 

You will softly locate the breath in the body in this initial practice. Nothing has to be figured out, no issues need to be solved, and nothing extraordinary has to be done. 

Return to your firsthand sense of body breathing on a regular basis. You're teaching your mind to focus on a single event without being distracted. 


Instructions

  1. Find a body posture that is comfortable for you. Sitting is frequently advised since it keeps the body alert and energetic. You can also try standing or resting flat on your back. You can use a yoga mat, a meditation cushion, or a chair to sit on. For a few minutes of silence, choose anything that feels comfortable and sustained. 
  2. Allow the eyes to shut gently. Try lightly staring at the floor or ceiling if you're more at ease with your eyes open (depending on your position). Allow the eyes to settle in one place and relax. The goal is to keep your practice as distraction-free as possible. 
  3. Bring your attention to your stomach. See if you can feel the natural rising and falling by relaxing the muscles there. Assume the body is breathing on its own. Observe the movement from the navel to the obliques with each inhalation. Like thus, take a few deep breathes. 
  4. Raise your awareness to your chest. Pay attention to the expansion of the lungs and the lifting of the chest when you inhale. Feel the constriction and movement as you exhale. Try following the sensation of your breath from the start of your inhale to the finish of your exhale. 
  5. Pay close attention to the nostrils now. Here, the sensation of breathing may be more mild. Take a deep breath and see what comes up for you. As you breathe in, you may feel a tiny tickling at the tip of your nose. On the walk out, you may notice that your breath is somewhat warmer. 
  6. In one of these three areas, focus your attention on your body's breathing. Refocus on the immediate feeling of the breath when the mind wanders. For a minute or two, keep an eye on your breath. Bring this awareness into your daily life when you finish this term of practice. To assist the mind stay present, stay in touch with your body's breath. 


Our Mind, The Wanderer

The mind's natural instinct is to wander. Even the most experienced meditators suffer from wandering thoughts! The brain was created to analyze data; it's simply doing its job. 

Instead of perceiving this as a problem, consider it a chance to improve your awareness. 

Bring forgiveness, curiosity, and patience to these times, and bring your attention back to the breath anytime it wanders.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



11 Mindfulness Terms to Know



  1. TONE OF FEELING: The sensation of something being pleasant, bad, or neutral. Hearing a bird chirp, for example, may have a nice feeling tone, whilst scratching may have an awful feeling tone. 
  2. GROWING EDGES: Areas in which we have room to expand. We are frequently faced with challenging situations in which we must battle, but we also have a strong chance to learn. 
  3. HOOKED IN and UNHOOKED: When we become completely immersed in a situation, we lose control over how we act. Unhooking is the process of letting go of an experience and regaining consciousness. 
  4. LOVING-KINDNESS: The act of caring for the well-being of others and the quality of doing so. Loving-kindness is an act of extending one's heart to others and greeting them with kindness. 
  5. MANTRA/PHRASE: Phrases and mantras are utilized as an object of consciousness in various techniques. A phrase, often known as a mantra, is a brief line that is used to nurture an intention and to keep focused on a goal. 
  6. MEDITATION: Meditation is simply the act of setting aside time to cultivate a mental or emotional quality, usually in quiet. Meditation may be done while walking, cleaning dishes, or eating, however it is most commonly done in a seated position. 
  7. MONKEY MIND: A mental condition in which the mind jumps from branch to branch, much like a monkey does. 
  8. NOTING: The act of mentally expressing what we are feeling. Noting is the act of silently uttering something in one's brain in order to perceive something clearly without being engrossed in it. 
  9. PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: The component of the central nervous system involved for downregulation, such as decreasing the heart rate, relaxing muscles, and boosting gland activity.
  10. PRESENT TIME EXPERIENCE: Whatever is going on in our lives right now. What arises into our experience on a moment-by-moment basis is what we call the present-time experience. It is always changing, full of many sensations, and always present.
  11. SENSE-DOORS: Smell, taste, hearing, touch/feeling, sight, and cognition are the six basic senses that may be accessible in our mindfulness practice. We observe phenomena originating and passing via the sense-doors.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.


7 Keys to Creating and Establishing a Mindfulness Practice


To create mindfulness in your life, you don't need anything unique or "additional." 

The hardest thing is generally getting started, but as you figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle, it gets simpler. 

Pay attention to what feels easy, fluid, and "correct" while you practice, as well as what produces friction and resistance. 

To help you start a mindfulness practice, use the activities in this article, the advice for getting started, and your own intuition. 

I've heard a lot of various methods to get started in my years of teaching, and they're all slightly different—personalized to the individual. 



Here are a few tips to help you get started on the path to mindfulness:

 



    1. FORMALIZING A PRACTICE 


    I struggled to practice meditation when I first started; it seemed like a chore. 

    But as I practiced more frequently, it became second nature to me. I even began to look forward to my daily minutes of mindfulness. My confidence and interest in mindfulness developed as the advantages of my practice began to manifest in my daily life, and meditation became more simpler and more fun. 

    • All you have to do is show up and put forth a little effort to practice mindfulness. 
    • The important components you'll work on as you develop your mindfulness practice are listed below. These will form a framework to base and build on your mindfulness practice. 


    2. SETTING A SCHEDULE FOR MEDITATION.


    It may seem tough to find time to meditate with your hectic schedule. This is a typical difficulty in my experience dealing with people from all over the world, but you can surely find time to practice.

    •  Making mindfulness a priority is the key. 
    • Setting aside dedicated practice time, getting up a few minutes earlier than normal, or setting a calendar reminder to practice in the afternoon are all helpful.
    •  You don't have to commit to 30 minutes of practice each day right away; start with 5 minutes. 


    3. CREATING SPACE FOR PRACTICE. 


    You may have difficulty locating an appropriate practice location. Keep in mind that this may be done almost anyplace. 

    Let go of the notion that there are “good” and “bad” places. 

    • You may also designate a spot in your house to meditation—find a place that is somewhat peaceful and calming. 
    • If your workplace or work environment is too cluttered, consider practicing in your car first. 
    • If you're comfortable, you can also use public locations like beaches, parks, and peaceful highways. 


    4. CHOOSING AN OBJECTIVE. 


    You wouldn't be here unless you have a certain goal in mind. 

    What motivates you to seek out a more mindful way of life? 

    • Whatever your response, it is beneficial to remind yourself of this underlying aim on a regular basis, connecting with what motivates you. 
    • The mind may try to persuade you not to meditate or that you don't have enough time. 
    • Fighting these impulses is sometimes fruitless. Instead, bring your attention back to your main goal. Keep in mind what is important to you. 


    5. CONSISTENCY BUILDING. 


    The exercises will allow you to explore mindfulness in a variety of ways in your life. 

    • Try to utilize one mindfulness exercise at least once a day, always having your mindfulness objective in mind. 
    • Consistent practice aids in efficient mind training. 
    • When you practice every day, you soon develop the habit. 

    It's similar to going to the gym: if you just attend once a month, you're unlikely to see immediate effects. If you go twice a week, though, all of those small small moments of exercise add up, and you become stronger. 

    Mindfulness is a long-term commitment; as you practice, your mental muscle grows stronger. 


    6. GETTING IN TOUCH WITH A FRIEND. 


    • Support from friends and family may go a long way toward promoting new behaviors. 
    • Once a day, invite a friend or family member to practice with you. 
    • This will offer you a sense of accountability to someone other than yourself, which is always beneficial. 
    • You'll also have the chance to communicate with someone else about your experience, which will benefit you both as you progress through practice together. 


    7. MAINTENANCE OF A JOURNAL. 


    Get yourself a journal to keep track of your mindfulness practice. 

    Take a few brief notes when you've finished practicing for the day. 

    • What was the outcome of your practice? 
    • Is there anything fresh or fascinating that has come up? 
    • What are your thoughts? 

    Writing down your mindfulness experience may help you grasp it better, ingrain your newfound insight into your mind, and offer you something to reflect on. I still go back and look at my first meditation diary again and again, and I like seeing how far I've come.




    You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.





    8 Research based Benefits of Mindfulness


    Mindfulness has been researched in clinical settings with the use of brain imaging equipment and intensive psychological assessment. 

    Despite the fact that mindfulness research is still in its early stages, researchers are finding tangible proof of the anecdotal claims that meditators have made for generations. 

    Many studies show that just a few weeks of practice may lead to changes in behavior and brain activity, with individuals sustaining the favorable benefits for up to a year after completing a mindfulness-based training program. 

    Understanding the study may help you understand why you're undertaking this exercise in the first place, as well as provide you a peek of some of the potential advantages. 



      1. REDUCTION OF STRESS. 


      In 2010, a group of academics reviewed previous data and concluded that mindfulness was useful in reducing anxiety and stress. 

      This was true whether or not the subjects had previously been diagnosed with anxiety or stress problems. 


      2. WORKING MEMORY AND FOCUS HAVE BEEN IMPROVED. 


      Mindfulness, according to research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, helps people stay focused and utilize newly learned knowledge more successfully. 

      Participants reported much reduced mind wandering after just two weeks of mindfulness practice, which is a promising outcome. 


      3. BENEFITS FOR THE BODY. 


      Mindfulness has been shown to have several bodily advantages. 

      Regular meditation has been shown in studies to improve digestion, enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure, speed up the healing process, and reduce inflammation. 

      It's not only about taking care of your mind when it comes to mindfulness! 


      4. BETTER SLEEP IS REQUIRED. 


      According to Harvard Health, studies demonstrate that mindfulness can aid in falling and staying asleep. A meditation practice, regardless of when you perform it, is likely to help with this. 


      5. SOLVING PROBLEMS IN A CREATIVE MANNER. 


      Researchers revealed in a 1982 study that meditation might help people solve issues more creatively. 

      Cultivating mental calm allows you to think in fresh ways, see challenges from various perspectives, and work more efficiently toward a solution. 

      This can also help you deal with stress in the family, at work, and in everyday life as a side effect. 


      6. LONELINESS FEELINGS ARE FEWER. 


      Loneliness has been linked to bad health consequences. After just eight weeks of mindfulness meditation, participants in a research at the University of California, Los Angeles reported feeling less lonely. 

      This was true whether the people were alone or in the company of a group of friends. Furthermore, individuals who only exercised mindfulness found that they felt more connected and content. 

      After a prolonged research of loneliness in the UK, British Prime Minister Theresa May even named a Minister for Loneliness in January 2018. 


      7. SELF-ESTEEM HAS BEEN IMPROVED. 


      This is something that many of us battle with. Mindfulness practice has been demonstrated to improve self-esteem in people from all walks of life. 

      It can help you enhance your body image, feeling of self-worth, and overall satisfaction with who you are. 


      8. REGULATION OF MOOD. 


      Although mindfulness is not a replacement for adequate medical treatment, it is a valuable tool for regulating mood disorders and difficulties. 

      If you're dealing with depression, anxiety, or mood swings, mindfulness may be able to assist you.

      Mindfulness has been shown to assist people with and without mood disorders calm their emotions.


      You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.





      9 Key Defining Aspects of a Mindfulness Practice



      You've come here because you've decided to start looking into mindfulness. It's a significant step that ought to be acknowledged and applauded. Take a moment to congratulate yourself. 


      Let's take a look at the many latent behaviors you'll be developing as you begin to grasp mindfulness practice:




        1. BEING ENTIRELY PRESENT.


        • This is the most well-known and fundamental mindfulness meditation technique, yet it takes practice to master. 
        • As you practice, you may need to bring your thoughts back to the present moment several times. 
        • You'll find yourself more naturally able to relax in present-time awareness as you continue to train your mind to remain present. 


        2. CLEARLY SEEING. 


        • This part of mindfulness may also be thought of as a recognition of what you're going through. 
        • You are able to recognize pain when it occurs. 
        • When anxiety is there, you may identify it as such. 


        3. LETTING GO OF JUDGMENT. 


        • You are acquiring the knowledge to clearly understand what you are feeling in the current moment. 
        • You could observe that your mind categorizes anything (a sensation, a concept, etc.) as good or terrible, correct or incorrect, positive or negative. 
        • You may let go of such value judgements through mindfulness practice. 
        • You may remind yourself that you don't have to trust every judgment that comes your way. 
        • Accept anything you find in your thoughts, including any sentiments of "liking" or "disliking" it. 


        4. EQUANIMOUSNESS. 


        • Equanimity is the trait of being calm and composed, particularly when confronted with tough or unpleasant situations. 
        • Regardless of how simple or challenging the experience is, the amount of energy and effort you put into it can stay constant. 
        • You'll learn to go through challenging situations with balance and stability if you do it this way. 


        5. PERMITTING EVERYTHING TO FIT IN. 


        • There are many different kinds of experiences in life, and you may find yourself welcoming some in while excluding others. 
        • “Everything belongs,” says English monk Ajahn Sumedho to his students. 
        • You don't have to omit any idea, emotion, or experience when practicing mindfulness. 
        • Pay attention to whatever comes up and create room for the unpleasant. 


        6. CULTIVATING THE MIND OF A BEGINNER 


        • Approach new information with a sense of wonder and a desire to comprehend it. 
        • You can slip into "autopilot" when you have a better awareness of the world around you, believing that you know exactly how things function and what you're doing.
        • Work to build beginner's mind, viewing experiences and circumstances as if it's your first time, to promote a good mindfulness practice. 
        • Keep your mind open to fresh ideas and be aware of when it begins to close. 


        7. PATIENCE IS AN ESSENTIAL QUALITY. 


        The majority of individuals come to mindfulness and meditation with a specific objective in mind. They want to learn to manage their anxiety, deal with daily challenges, or work through their anger. 

        • It's fine to set goals, but remember to be patient; being too fixated on a single conclusion will stymie your development. 
        • Patience necessitates a small amount of faith in the exercise, your teacher, and yourself. 
        • Keep your goal in mind, and keep in mind that change takes time


        8. FORMING A FRIENDSHIP. 


        It's not about punishing yourself with mindfulness! 

        • Kindness is an important component of practice, and it begins with being nice to oneself. 
        • You might become reactive and unable to see clearly if you lack kindness. 
        • When practicing, be kind with yourself and your experience. 
        • Act as though your mind is an ally rather than a foe.  


        9. YOU ARE HONORING YOURSELF. 


        • To begin practicing mindfulness, you don't need to have a clear mind, be totally calm, or be a master of compassion. 
        • Begin wherever you are, and give yourself credit for showing up in the first place. This is a workout, not a competition. 
        • You are not being evaluated, and if you are having difficulties, it does not indicate that something is wrong with you or your thinking. 
        • Be honest to yourself and give yourself room to grow.




        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.






        Mindfulness Meditation - Natural Exhalation


        Breathing and breathing control are central to many meditative and yogic activities (such as pranayama, as mentioned earlier). You inhale from one nostril, catch your breath, and exhale through the other nostril with one technique (holding your finger over the first nostril to direct the flow of breath). Another technique is to shorten your breath and breathe in and out quickly.

        There are several distinctions between mindfulness practices. In one mindfulness exercise, you consciously lengthen your breath and remain conscious that you are doing so. Some mindfulness methods, like the one popularized




        by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, also include breathing in and out while repeating a sentence, such as "Breathing in, I quiet the breath, breathing out, I smile." Each mindfulness technique has a slightly different effect. In the act of introducing mindfulness to the breath, certain people purposefully relax it.

        This book's mindfulness exercise focuses on the uncontrolled, completely normal breath. This exercise does not cause you to lengthen, shorten, catch, or deepen your breath in any way. This recommendation is made for two major reasons.

        To begin with, allowing the breath to be normal is better than attempting to control it.

        Your mind and body will become exhausted if you meditate for a long time—ten to twenty minutes or more—and spend the whole time trying to regulate your breathing. Allowing your breath to flow naturally is quick and easy to maintain.

        Second, and most critically, ordinary breathing helps one to be present in the present moment. Being conscious of situations just as they happen is one of the fundamental tenets of mindfulness practice. We learn not to attempt to regulate our life experiences, but to let them unfold naturally. While we do not actually become silent, this cultivates a quiet embrace of life. However, if your breath is shallow, keep it that way.

        Take a moment to note how shallow the breathing is. Allow your breath to be as long as it needs to be. And so on. Rather than influence, we develop skills in observation and acceptance.


        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



        Mindfulness Meditation Anchored in Breath

        The meditation anchor works in a similar manner to a ship anchor. A ship can be at sea for days, being rocked and turned by the waves, but when a sailor drops an anchor, the boat remains put, not pitching about or running aground.

        We use an anchor in meditation to protect our minds from being knocked about by a sea of feelings, stimuli, experiences, sounds, and emotions.




        We use the breath as our anchor in the mindfulness exercise learned in this book, but other anchors, such as sounds or body stimuli, may also be used. Other meditation techniques include focusing on an image, a candle flame, a certain body part, or a mantra (a repeating word).

        There are a number of apparent reasons to use our breath as a source of stability. To begin with, it is still with us. One thing we can count on when we are alive is that we will be breathing. Second, it is fairly open and easy to feel for the majority of people. 

        The majority of novice meditators will easily add mindfulness to their own breathing. Third, the breath is normally neutral—we don't have strong emotions about it. 

        Breath is a great meditation object because it is neither enjoyable nor bad, because if we choose an anchor that evokes intense negative or positive emotions, we will spend more of our time manipulating our feelings rather than being present with the breath.


        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.






        Meditating with a Clear Mind




        It is beneficial to start with a narrow emphasis when establishing a regular mindfulness routine. It can be intimidating to meditate without a goal, particularly for beginners. 

        You'd be confused if you wanted to be conscious of anything that comes into your head. 

        You'd start to think what you should be aware of. Right now, give it a shot. Be conscious of the surroundings. Stop and take notice—be present in the moment and pay attention to what is going on. What went wrong? Probably quite a bit. 

        You may have heard or seen something in the room or outside. You may have experienced physical stimuli and noticed emotions or emotions on the inside. Much of the time, our brains are awash with a myriad of sensations, causing them to drift all over the world. 

        Our minds are compared to chattering monkeys hopping from tree branch to tree branch in some Hindu and Buddhist meditation scriptures, which they refer to as "monkey mind." It is feasible, though not fast, to be broadly conscious without a central focal point. And, in the long term, it can be exhausting or even frustrating. 


        Some meditation traditions teach mindfulness in this way, implying that we should simply sit, open our minds, and be conscious. 

        This strategy has a lot of influence for some people. However, for the majority of students we meet, particularly those who are just getting started, it is beneficial to have a clear approach to concentrate on, at least at first. The mindfulness tradition has created a concept known as "the anchor" to help with this.


        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



        Mindfulness Breathing Regulated by Consciousness


        For the reasons above, it is critical that you observe your natural breath in your everyday meditation practice; however, it is also critical that you consider and know when to use conscientious breath control. 

        Your breath and your physiological states of well-being are inextricably linked, as described in the science section. 

        Shallow, choppy breathing could suggest nervousness—or that you've just run five miles! You might be angry if your breath is fast. You can feel very comfortable if it is quite soft and subtle.

        Breath is a clear indicator of how you're feeling.



        • You may need to control your breathing at times during your yoga session or everyday life in order to calm yourself down, feel more responsive to yourself, or relax a little more profoundly. 
        • Elongating your breath is beneficial in all of these situations. 
        • You should pause for a second to breathe more slowly while still maintaining control of your breathing.
        • So, when you meditate, use your normal breath much of the time, but note that mindfully softening, deepening, or elongating your breath can be beneficial from time to time. 
        • You can do this practice at any time during the day, particularly when you are feeling challenged. 

        Jenny, a 45-year-old software developer, said the following story:

        I was really disappointed when I left my boss's office. She told me that some employees might be laid off, and that I could be one of them. They'd have to see it through through the next cycle, but there's no promise. My breathing was tight and shallow as I walked down the corridor. My heart was pounding furiously. So I came to a complete halt in the middle of the hall and took a few deep breaths, relaxing through the tightness in my chest. I was starting to feel much more comfortable after just a few seconds. I reminded myself that I had no idea what would happen next.


        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



        Mindfulness - Relationship Between Breath, Lungs and Heart Health

        Yoga, Figure, Vacations, Relaxation


        Breathing is regulated both automatically and voluntarily. The average person breathes 12 to 15 times a minute, using a pint of air per time. The automatic or spontaneous breathing system is activated by the respiratory core of your brain (the medulla of the brain stem), which activates your chest muscles to shift pressure and push air into and out of your lungs. 

        When you catch your breath, sing, or voice, higher brain centers change the automatic pathway, giving you voluntary control of your breathing. Breathing is difficult to pay attention to since it is involuntary, and as you can find in this novel, it takes time to pay attention to your breathing or other habitual or automatic responses. Learning to be careful of one's breath is a perfect way to get a better understanding of and power over one's breathing.


        Gas Mask, Poison, Protection, Breathing


        Mindfulness has been studied to see how it affects breathing and cardiac health. Changing the breathing rate, for example, affects pulmonary sinus arrhythmia, which occurs when our hearts pound faster when we breathe in than when we breathe out. This discrepancy is a symbol of good health, and it diminishes as people age and develop those illnesses (diabetes, cardiovascular disease). A research conducted at McGill University in Canada using a body-scan meditation (similar to the one described at the end of this chapter) showed that mindfulness, like exercise, causes increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia.

        Mindfulness seems to help with heart health as well. Over the course of ten months, two types of people at risk for heart disease were observed at Duke University. The first group received a package that included a fitness consultant and mindfulness and stress-reduction instruction, while the second group received a written summary on their health evaluations then went back to their primary care providers for follow-up care as normal. After ten months, those who had completed the mindfulness program had significantly lower heart disease risk scores, were more active, and had lost more weight.

        Another line of inquiry has been into the impact of respiratory techniques on breathing-related issues such as asthma. Twenty-two asthma patients were taught pranayama breathing, a traditional breathing technique seen in some types of yoga and meditation that deals with prana, or life energy, in a limited but well-controlled study of breath training on asthma sufferers. The exhale is stretched to twice the duration of the inhale in one kind of pranayama breathing. (At this stage, you might note how long the exhales and inhales are in relation to one another and try to make the exhale twice as long as the inhale.) 

        In half of the participants, the researchers used a breathing system to achieve this two-to-one exhale-to-inhale ratio, while the other half received a placebo device. Participants in the study used their "breathing aids" for fifteen minutes twice a day for four weeks. 


        Woman, Breath, Life, Red, Hair, Lip


        The study found that the community doing pranayama breathing had increased lung function, decreased asthma symptom levels, and used less drugs to control their asthma. The improvements were similar to those seen in people with moderate asthma who were given treatment (low-dose inhaled corticosteroids).



        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.


        Pen, Colored Pencil, Learn, Patience


        DIRGHA PRANAYAMA Three-Part Yogic Breathing

         


        TIME: 10 minutes 

        BENEFITS: Energy, Improved Circulation, Increased Lung Capacity

        Dirgha Pranayama combines diaphragmatic breathing, thoracic breathing, and clavicular breathing in succession to create a full and controlled breath, systematically filling and emptying the lungs. If you’re experiencing fatigue, poor posture, or depression, this technique will help uplift you.

        1. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
        2. In a comfortable seated posture or lying on the floor, allow your eyes to close, and feel your body relax.  ✺ If youd like, try using Gyan Mudra, Chin Mudra, or Anjali Mudra.
        3. Become aware of the movement of your abdomen, feeling the belly fill and empty on the rhythm of your breath, holding this awareness for 1 minute.
        4. Move your awareness to the widening and narrowing of your rib cage as you breathe, feeling the intercostal muscles between the ribs flex and release, for 1 minute.
        5. Raise your awareness higher, feeling the slight lifting and lowering of your collarbones on the inhalation and exhalation. Because this section of the lungs is smaller, this movement will be the least pronounced. Hold this awareness for 1 minute.  
        6. With an exhalation, push all the air out of your body slowly.
        7. As you inhale, first feel your abdomen expand, then your rib cage widen, and at the top of your inhalation, feel the collarbones lift. With your slow and controlled exhalation, feel your collarbones drop, then your rib cage narrow, and, lastly, feel your abdomen relax toward your spine. Continue this breathing rhythm for 5 minutes. ✺ Simplified: Inhalation: Abdomen > Rib Cage > Collarbones Exhalation: Collarbones > Rib Cage > Abdomen
        8. Allow your breath to relax and notice the energetic effects on your mind and body. Allow your eyes to gently open.
        9. Journal your experience, noting any peculiar sensations, progress, and challenges.

        TIP: If you’re having a hard time compartmentalizing the breath in separate regions, you can imagine that the breath is moving up your spine as you inhale and moving down your spine as you exhale. With practice, sectioning out the breath will become easier.

        THE 4 PRANAYAMA ASPECTS AND BREATHING OPTIONS

         

        THE 4 PRANAYAMA ASPECTS


        Breathing can seem to be easy and uncomplicated at first, but when you practice pranayama techniques, you may see how dynamic it can be. You'll be able to further monitor your success once you grasp the importance of each of the four facets of pranayama.

        1. Pooraka (Inhalation) – Using the breath to draw oxygen and prana into the body. You will increase the brahmana (energizing) effect by lengthening the inhalation, thus stabilizing low-energy imbalances (sluggishness, depression, apathy).
        2. Rechaka (Exhalation) – Using the breath to expel oxygen and chemicals from the body. The exhalation triggers a langhana (calming) response that is linked to your parasympathetic nervous system. You will stabilize frenetic and restless energetic imbalances by lengthening it (anxiety, overstimulation, manic stress).
        3. Antaranga Kumbhaka (Retention after Inhalation) – As you hold your breath after inhaling, the brahmana (energizing) reaction is stimulated. You'll be able to keep it for longer stretches of time with practice, but continue to respect the body's boundaries in each practice.
        4. Bahiranga Kumbhaka (Suspension after Exhalation) – When you catch your breath after exhaling, the langhana (calming) effect is stimulated. Since your body naturally craves more breath, this part of the breath is said to be the most difficult to master.

        You'll be able to learn this part without becoming anxious with practice.

        Many pranayama strategies aim to achieve kumbhaka (breath retention), and you can work carefully and methodically toward this end. You would be able to perform kumbhaka without activating the stress response in this manner. If you hold your breath for too long or when you're not ready, you'll get nervous, which will negate the pranayama's intended outcome.

         

        THE MULTITUDE OF BREATHING OPTIONS


        “Breath is the link between life and mind, the link between the body and your thoughts.”

        —Thich Nhat Hanh (Thich Nhat Hanh)

         

        Breathing is the filling and emptying of the lungs anatomically, but the exact results on your work will depend on which muscles participate, which organs turn, and which nerves are activated during the breath. Some breathing techniques, particularly when performed unconsciously (not pranayama), can cause health problems or anxiety. Some methods are more energizing and psychologically calming. As we'll see, you can even breathe to various areas of the lungs to have different results.

        Breathing from the diaphragm


        The diaphragmatic breath, also known as belly breathing, is the softening of the muscles around your abdomen, causing the breath to calm the area of your body. When the mind and body are calm, this kind of breathing may be performed in a formal pranayama exercise or as a natural method of breathing.

        This is a great place to learn breathing no matter where you are.

        To begin, be mindful of the area between your rib cage and your pelvis. In this region of the body, we often constrict and retain strong muscles. Allow them to relax so that the belly can stretch forward without resistance on inhalation. The exhalation is just a quick breath relaxation with a gentle contraction of the navel against the neck. This breathing style requires little effort apart from deliberately calming the belly. Later, we can go through a more detailed method of performing diaphragmatic breathing.

        You may find yourself instinctively breathing in this manner with practice and as your nervous system becomes more controlled.

        Reduced stress and anxiety, a more concentrated mind, insomnia relief, a slower heart rate, and increased digestion are all advantages of diaphragmatic breathing.

        Thoracic Breathing 


        The air stretches into the rib cage and chest to compensate as the diaphragm does not descend into the belly as you inhale. Breathing in this manner has both advantages and disadvantages.

        This type of breathing, when performed purposefully and with a pranayama technique, will boost stamina and stimulate the nervous system. When performed unconsciously, the breathing capability decreases, and shallow breathing may have long-term negative health consequences, especially in the case of cardiovascular disorders such as sleep apnea. This is why you do not want this breathing habit to become your normal.

        Become mindful of the diaphragm to perform thoracic breathing. Instead of pulling the diaphragm downward when you inhale deeply, keep it still to encourage the filling of the lungs to extend through the ribs, causing the rib cage to expand upward and laterally. Enable the diaphragm to relax and the rib cage to contract when you exhale. Later, we can go into how to use thoracic breathing in particular pranayama techniques.

        Clavicular Breathing 

        When you inhale and neither your belly button nor your rib cage stretches, the air rises into your collarbones (clavicles), resulting in the shallowest form of breathing. You don't want to focus on clavicular ventilation as the only method of breathing, even if it is a part of a complete and deep breath. We put stress on the body, particularly the heart and brain, when we breathe in a consistent and shallow manner unconsciously, as I said with thoracic breathing. We get exhausted and emotionally exhausted as less oxygen is consumed. When it's appropriate to use this method of breathing, we'll revert to basic pranayama methods.

        Breathing in an Odd Way


        Another breathing rhythm that occurs unintentionally and may have detrimental long-term effects on the general well-being is paradoxical breathing. When you inhale, the diaphragm draws inward, and the chest expands instead of rising as you inhale. Trauma or damage to the chest wall, diaphragm nerve disturbance, and sluggish respiratory muscles are also causing for this. Shortness of breath, hypersomnia, fatigue, low sleep quality, abnormally fast breathing, and decreased physical activity are all signs that you may be breathing unconsciously in this manner.

        The positive news is that regular pranayama practice will help correct this unhealthy breathing habit and mitigate the detrimental consequences it has already created. If you experience any long-term detrimental consequences from paradoxical breathing, please contact the doctor.