How is your breathing? As Westerners we are very unlikely to be consciously connecting every breath. Learn how breathing affects your life day-to-day, including your emotions and mental acuity as well as your communications and psychological health.
Rebirthing Breathwork is a system of consciously connecting every breath. This may not seem like exciting news, but you probably aren’t already doing this, even though you think you are.
Most Westerners breathe only 50% of the time, and when under stress even less. I listened to my mum’s breathing the other day, as we were talking about this, and she was insisting that she breathes in and out all the time. In fact she was holding her breath about 40% of the time, and when she started to think about something that frightened her only about 25% of the time.
So what does this mean? and what will changing the way we breathe do for us?
It means that we are making ourselves ill, by not clearing out the toxic breakdown products of our body quickly enough for it to maintain health. FACT: 70% of the body’s waste products go out in the breath. That’s a lot, and a high proportion. This means that breathing fully is far more important than what we eat….and we all know how important that is!
Changing the way that we breathe – breathing more fully – will open up new levels of energy, reduce episodes of illness, increase our stamina, and—I even found—increased my coordination. It helps us to think more clearly, as when faced with a problem, instead of holding our breath and reducing available oxygen, we increase the oxygen just at the time we need it, to make a decision. It helps us to communicate more clearly, to say what we mean, engage with one another better, express ourselves better, feel more at ease with others and not worry so much about their opinion of us, because we feel more at ease with ourselves.
The way we breathe has become normal for us because we have been doing it all our lives, probably since our very first breath. We will cover that story another time. Take comfort in the fact that you can re-learn this, and it’s a powerful technique.
3 Steps to become more aware of your breathing:
- Deep Breathing: Try taking a full deep breath when you are concentrating hard on something, and breathe it right out: Breathe into your chest, belly and lift your ribs up to your collar bone, then when no more air can go in, let it flow out with a sigh.
- NOTES: Write yourself a little sign that says BREATHE! and put it on your desk, or inside the bathroom cabinet or on the wardrobe door, where you will see it.
- Right now: take 3 full breaths in and out, while sitting down and see how you feel. You may feel a little dizzy, don’t worry that’s usual when you have been taking only shallow breaths for a long time. It means that you have obtained more oxygen and got rid of more carbon dioxide than you may have done for a while.
Join me next time for mini demonstration of how connecting your breath feels, and how your breathing is affected by too much stress.