Updated: Mar 15, 2020
Breath is the most fundamental function of our body. It is always present.
Use this practice to;
Reduce symptoms of fatigue
Promotes more restful sleep
Aids in digestion
Aids pain management
Is a great place to begin a meditation practice
A study in (*1)The Journal of Neuroscience (12/6/16) found that inhaling through the nose stimulates the neurons in the olfactory cortex; our sensory input, the amygdala; the emotional center, and hippocampus; time/date stamp. While doing focused breathing or meditation, during nasal inhalation we are synchronizing brain oscillations across the lambic net work. This is not true when mouth breathing. Additionally, this practice literally increases oxygen intake, as explained in the case of my Dad.
A few years ago I conducted my own experiment with my Dad, who was in end stages of life after years of living with cancer. He was struggling with breathing and before he strapped on his oxygen mask, we measured his oxygen level. It was falling into the 50 range. I asked him to try the exercise below for a few minutes and see if there would be a difference. I lead him through the practice and after a few minutes we measured his oxygen level again. It had climbed back up to 90! I am not advocating that people on oxygen abandon their tank. I am just illustrating that the following deep breathing practice does increase oxygen levels significantly, if only temporarily. In my Dads case, I did have him put on his mask as maintaining the practice would have been too much for him at the time.
The following is a simple effective practice that I have my students do in the beginning of yoga practice. Connecting with the breath also helps us to become centered and grounded in the moment.
Please use this practice as a #selfcare tool for wellbeing in body, mind and heart.