The Art of Breathing

“Our breath is the only thing that stays with us from the moment we are born to the moment we die.” – Jay Shetty

Seems like it might be a good thing to befriend, if you ask us.

A very valuable tool of yoga is pranayama: the art or science of breathing. If we can befriend our breath, we can begin to understand and somewhat control our emotions. As the rate, depth and quality of the breath is intricately related to our thoughts and emotions, we can use simple techniques to influence our thoughts and emotional state.

If we slow the breath, we can slow our mind and our thoughts. It’s not necessarily easy but it’s also not hard or challenging (although I guess this depends on who you ask!).

In comparison, if desirable we may be able to stimulate the mind and energise the body, by stimulating the breath.

It is all about balance (if I had a penny right? but it’s true) and what any one person needs at any given time. If it is difficult to change the way you breathe, then take your time to change it. Pushing a change can cause more discomfort that you started with.

A beginner’s practice can be to ‘watch the breath’ while sitting comfortably.
~ Is the outbreath or the inbreath longer?
~ Are they equal?
~ Is there a pause between them?
~ Do you naturally hold the in or out breath?

This practice can also be applied when you’re feeling various emotions like stress, sadness, anger, happiness – watch and notice your breath and then try and regulate it. What happens to your emotions when you do so?

Play around with the practice and note your observations.

Written by Frani & Ayla

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