Breath is life, yet how many of us take this for granted? If this is you, you might want to give it a bit more of your attention. Why? Because babies are born knowing how to breathe properly. They are deep belly breathers. By the time we are twelve years old, most of us are breathing high into our chest. Our lungs are filled with stagnant air that never gets evacuated, and our breath is very shallow.
The body detoxifies a lot of waste through the lungs. If you are not breathing deeply, you are setting the stage for premature aging and disease. Having some sort of daily breath practice is an important part of self care.
There are many breathing exercises. Here are just a few.
Alternate nostril breathing comes from yoga. It’s highly credited for helping with anxiety and headaches.
Turtle breathing is a qigong (Chinese) practice. Many qigong practices developed from watching animals. As turtles have long lives, this form of breathing is done to promote health and longevity.
Coherent breathing is good for the mind and body. It doesn’t take a long time to feel the effect. More is more. Regular practice helps you to reach a new level of calm.
This shamanic breathing exercise is to promote altered states. Why would you want that? Sometimes the key to healing lies within the soul. You probably can’t reach it by talking. Medication can’t touch it. When you get into an altered state, your typical guards are down. You can gain insight and understanding that allow things to release spontaneously. Or perhaps hidden information is revealed so that you now have more resources. This can make other therapies suddenly more effective.
A word of warning about engaging in altered states work. The information that comes through can be intense. If you are in a fragile mental state, you probably don’t want to do this unassisted. Support can mean the difference in the experience being an empowering one or a terrifying one. I wouldn’t experiment with this unless and until you’ve been through a few altered states experiences with a helper first.
Taking fie to twenty minutes out of your day to breathe consciously and mindfully can go a long way in improving health and vitality. Try it for a week. See what a difference it can make for you. It costs nothing but a little time. What have you got to lose?