Feel like you are breathing underwater? Drowning in an ocean of constant stimulation, stress, and chaos? Welcome to modern-day living, where we tether to electronics, people, and ideas, but rarely make the time to deeply connect with our breath. Conscious breathing improves mental clarity, increases energy and relieves stress.
In yogic traditions, many believe a human being is allotted a certain number of breathes in one’s lifetime. By mastering the vital tool of “Pranayama”, the technique of regulating the prana or breath, a person can extend longevity and vitality in building energy, balancing emotions, decreasing the risk of disease and most importantly, opening the mind to receive healthy direction.
Try this conscious breathing exercise, known as “One Minute Breath”.
- From a sitting position, close your eyes.
- Begin to slowly inhale through the nose with the mouth closed counting to 20 along the way.
- Suspend or hold the breath for a count of 20.
- Slowly exhaling all the air out through the nose, mouth still closed, for the same count of 20.
- Do not hold or suspend the breath after the exhale.
- Continue and repeat this fluid, rhythmic breathing for 3 minutes.
Normally, men breathe at a rate of 16-18 cycles per minute and women breathe at 18-20 cycles per minute. Beginners may start with a 5 count and increase with practice. The first experience utilizing this technique can create an awareness to any blocks or challenges in the breath, marking the beginning of the road to conscious breathing.
When we live in a world engulfed by pressure, anxiety, fear, and worry, learning to regulate our breath and breathe consciously is often frustrating and difficult, yet so important. The inhale is fuel and the exhale is manifested energy. Good health begin at being able to suspend the breath for 30 seconds.
Practice the “One Minute Breath” for 40 days and you will implement change, from breathing underwater to rising above and riding the wave of life with balance and gratitude. Reminds me of Van Morrison’s, Brand New Day.