Yesterday we discussed the benefits of meditation (albeit briefly, since we will be talking about that so much more later) so today we’re going to discuss one of the key parts of meditation – Breathing
Apology in advance if you find today’s post a little long!
I want to start by saying this, most people don’t breathe properly.
Sounds strange, right?
“If you know the are of breathing you have strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers!”-Chinese Adage
Harvard Medical School even talks about some of the benefits to breathing correctly, which you can read about here!
There’s also Thousands (literally) or more articles on a basic Google Search on proper breathing Techniques and why its important.
When we breath in our diaphragm contracts (tightens) and moves downward, this allows our lungs to expand. When we exhale that opposite happens and breath leaves the body.
(I won’t bore you with all the things that take place, medically & scientifically, but if you want to know about those then ask. Because I certainly can, it’s a huge part of the class we teach!)
Most people are shallow breathers; nothing inherently wrong with this, it keeps us alive.
But there’s so much more we could get out of our breathing too!
Some other (physical) advantages to Deep Breathing Exercises are
- Natural Pain Reliever
- Improved Blood Flow
- Increased Energy Level
- Reduced Inflammation
- Improved Posture
- Helps Detoxify the Body
- Improves Digestion
Ask any singer you know, or someone who’s not always stressed out (like most people seem to be these days) and they’ll tell you their little secret; they breath deeper than most people.
A Simple Introduction to Deep Breathing
Deep Breathing, that’s what we call it in meditation (also called belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing) and it has some tremendous benefits to it, on many other levels as well.
Proper breathing aligns the Four Bodies (a topic we will discuss later this week or next week) and helps us focus.
When we do this we can reduce stress, help ourselves focus, and relax muscles!
See why it’s such an important piece of mediation?
A simple way to begin deep breathing is to just do it!
(sounds simple, huh? spoiler alert, it is!)
Properly breathing is about more than just breathing.
Its breathing deeply, slowly and calmly.
When we talk about this kind of breathing, especially in conjunction with meditation we are looking at a few things.
It lowers your heart rate, your blood pressure and helps you relax (and allows your body to lower the effects of stress on the body)
Half of the reasons your meditating come directly from the breath-work!
A simple way to start is with a counted-breath exercise. It’s stupid simple
Breath in to a count of 4 seconds, pause for a few seconds, around 7 or so and then exhale to a count of about 8.
(you can adjust the numbers to what is most comfortable for you. the important part is doing it slowly, intentionally and calmly)
This is usually done (as a solo exercise) for about 1 minute, sometimes several times a day
(it may be used in an extended fashion as part of a meditation)
As a Gentle Reminder
You can’t heal or take care others if you don’t first work on yourself.
And even if that’s not your goal, being healthy is important (I really shouldn’t have to tell you why…)
Take some small steps, it doesn’t have to be drastic.
Breath deeper, cut out some of the junk food and sugars, get up every hour and move for a minute or two.
You will be amazed at how much stronger your healing (or meditation, or energy work) gets when you take care of your physical body!!
Slowly you will see the pieces fit together and the blog content that may (or may not) seem random will start to come together which each new post.
Thank you all for reading!