These days you hear a lot about breath work and what’s called coherent breathing which is when our breathing syncs up our head and our heart. It’s a slower deeper kind of breathing that we don’t normally do but it seems to be optimal for our health and may be why yoga is so popular right now. You’ve probably heard how exercise is a natural antidepressant. You do have to breathe deeper when you exercise. Your body won’t let you breathe shallowly when you’re running or biking up a hill. But you also breathe faster and the most benefit seems to come from breathing deeper and slower. Stephen Elliott co-authored a book called “The New Science of Breath” in which he breaks down coherent breathing into a simple process of breathing in to slow count of 4 and reaching out to the same slow count. Here’s something I like to add when breathing like this.
As you inhale, place your tongue at the roof of your mouth. As you exhale, place your tongue on the floor of your mouth. Inhale up, exhale down. And I like to do that by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. I believe this adds the benefit of connecting governing and central meridians, the two energy highways that each takes up half of the middle of your body. So when they’re connected inside, we feel connected. So let’s try it together~ Inhale ~ two…three…four… Exhale…two…three…four… Tongue to the roof of the mouth…
Tongue to the floor of the mouth Try this for one minute at a time and try to build up to five minutes a day. Elliott believes that breathing in and out to the same slow count of four can balance your nervous system, lower your blood pressure and balance your cardiovascular system, improve your immune function, reduce your stress hormone, reduce insomnia, anxiety, and anger, increase your resilience and possibly slow down the aging process. Stephen Elliott lays all of this out very nicely on an audio CD he has called “Respire” as in respiration, which you can find at coherence.com Breathing coherently can literally change your life.
But even if it only improves your mood or your outlook, “what’s not to like?” as we say in New York… And if you need a little reminder, this is my favorite refrigerator magnet~ “Whenever I feel blue I start breathing again”. I’m Bruce Patterson. Keep on breathing! 🙂 (For more info/videos, visit Bruce at Benewal.com).
As found on Youtube