Weather you go to a yoga class or a meditation center, the instructor is going to ask you to take a deep breath, bring your focus back to your breath or simply ask you to continue breathing.
Because humans you, when stressed tend to hold your breath, shrug your shoulders and keep’em up there for long periods of time, inhale to the top portions of your lungs and call it a day.
This kind of shallow breathing causes your mind and body stress. Without you even knowing it, you’re forgetting to relax your shoulders and inhale deeply. Never mind inhale deeply, you’re forgetting to breathe normally!
Therefore, I’m taking time to remind you how to breathe correctly in times of relaxation so when you’re faced with stressful life moments, you already have the body memory and it’ll be easier for you to have a positive default than an anxious one. Take it from me, someone that worked as a respiratory practitioner in the intensive care units of Yale New Haven Hospital for almost thirteen years and Hartford Hospital for another five.
What is diaphragmatic breathing?
In short diaphragmatic breathing is inhaling until your entire lungs are full of air and exhaling longer that your inhalation. What happens next is that your filled lungs press your diaphragm down toward your belly causing your chest and belly to rise at the same time. This way of breathing is contrary to what some yoga teachers teach during class.
Some yoga teachers teach 1:1 which means that the duration of your inhale is the same as the duration of your exhale. The problem with 1:1 is that you run the risk of inverse I:E ratio, meaning your inhalation is longer than your exhalation phase. Inverse breathing can and will make you pass out!
Don’t do that, especially if you want to learn how to control your breathing during difficult situations and panic attacks.
Do this instead:
1. Start your breathing practice by setting a timer for 2 minutes. Add more time as your practice progresses. The reason I ask you to set a timer is so that if and when your anxiety kicks in, you know in your mind it’s only for 2 minutes.
2. Place one hand on your heart and one on your abdomen.
3. Bring your shoulders up to your ears, toward your back and down toward the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
4. Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply until you can’t anymore.
5. Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth.
Eventually your inhalation will become longer and deeper which will make your exhalations longer and more detoxifying relaxing your entire body. With this added relaxation your body will begin to remember how wonderful it feels to be relaxed.
Remember to add more time to your timer. Follow your heart and body. They’ll tell you how much time to add <3
With more love,
P.S. Go to my Facebook page for another exercise. Pursed lips breathing. This breathing exercise is fantastic to calm them mind and body.
See you there!