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What Are You Breathing About? - The Quality Of Life
What Are You Breathing About? - The Quality Of Life

Video: What Are You Breathing About? - The Quality Of Life

Video: What Are You Breathing About? - The Quality Of Life
Video: Learn Why The Way You’re Breathing Is Destroying Your Quality of Life | James Nestor 2023, March

Do you know why monkeys can't talk? It's not because they lack the quick wits or the structure of the vocal cords. It's all about the inability to hold your breath, that is, to accumulate the air necessary to pronounce words and sentences. Only a person knows how to consciously control breathing. How can this come in handy?

double contact

Let's start simple: as you read this text, watch how you breathe. Don't try to deepen your breaths right away or use special techniques that you may have learned in yoga or swimming. Just keep track of how long it takes to inhale and exhale, whether they are accompanied by sound, which parts of the body are moving.

If at the same time you manage to grasp the essence of the text, it will be an excellent training in "double presence": you will remain in contact with yourself and at the same time absorb information from the outside world. An extremely useful skill!

expiratory diagnosis

Doctors have learned to determine some of the processes occurring in the body by the composition of the exhaled air. For example, by the amount of alkanes (saturated hydrocarbons) released, one can tell whether the human body rejects a heart transplanted to it, and the level of nitric oxide shows how effective the drugs prescribed for asthmatics are.

Developments are underway that will allow doctors to diagnose lung and breast cancer, sclerosis and even diabetes mellitus by breathing. But so far, such diagnostic methods are only the fruit of a bold scientific fantasy.

at your pleasure

How do you manage to monitor your breathing? Now let's try to complicate the task. Take a minute or two off reading and notice the four phases of the breathing cycle:

  • inhale;
  • pause after inhalation with filled lungs;
  • exhalation;
  • pause after exhalation when the lungs are empty.

Track all four phases, a kind of "seasons" of breathing. Note for yourself which of the states gives you the most pleasure. Stretch the inhalation or, for example, stay for a few more seconds in a state of full oxygen. Consider this experience as if this phase were your favorite food. Now, while continuing to enjoy the breath, let's return to the text.

Unfortunately, thoughts about breathing, and even more so about the associated pleasure, very rarely visit us in everyday life. Most people who first come to an appointment with a body-oriented psychotherapist or breathing exercises will immediately notice that they are used to breathing shallowly, shortly and silently. This is how ninjas learn to breathe, who need to get close to the enemy unnoticed. And why should ordinary people hide?

Why hold back?

Often, restrained breathing is tantamount to curbing emotions. For example, a person may make it difficult to breathe out to prevent themselves from crying or getting angry. Or unconsciously forbid yourself to inhale deeply enough to reduce the degree and saturation of emotions. Such people seem to be afraid that taking too deep a breath will awaken fear or unbridled joy, which have been hidden from themselves and others for many years.

Ohs and sighs

By the place where the breath “stalls”, encounters obstacles, one can judge the presence of bodily clamps and blocks. If it turns out that the effort is spent on breathing as silently as possible, the topic of shyness can be investigated. It seems that such a person may feel uncomfortable and try to pretend that they are not here. Perhaps traumatic experiences or personal attitudes have given rise to the need to stay alert. Soundless breathing is a defense mechanism, the result of the instinct of self-preservation.

Sometimes, on the contrary, you pay attention to the characteristic sounds (sobbing, wheezing) when you inhale or when you laugh. As a rule, there is a personal story behind such features: the body's memory stores everything, even if we have forced out some events into the unconscious. In this case, you can either try to make this sound louder and follow the sensations and associations, or, conversely, investigate how the body will react if you consciously restrain this sound. Such experiments often lead to revelations about oneself.

To live is to do things, not to acquire them


Full breathing

In yoga, healthy breathing is called complete yogic, in bioenergetic analysis - physiological. Let's try to breathe right. The point is to use as many muscles and body parts as possible when breathing. As a rule, men breathe more with their "belly" and women with their "chest". This is easy to understand by placing your hand on your stomach and monitoring whether it inflates with inhalation and deflates with exhalation. The challenge is to include both types of breathing.

Healthy breathing exercise

Sit comfortably, straighten your back so you don't feel constrained. As you inhale, begin to gradually inflate your stomach. Imagine that the air you breathe is water slowly filling a vessel in your body. When the belly is full to the limit, the chest begins to inflate, until finally the air level reaches the neck. With exhalation, the movement occurs in the opposite order: with a smooth wave, exhalation begins from the neck, empties the chest, and in the last turn the stomach is deflated.

This will happen quickly at first because inhaling and exhaling may take little time on their own. But each new cycle can be lengthened in order to more closely track all stages of the exercise.

How it works?

All breathing exercises are based on simple physiology. Breathing and attention are two bodily functions that are subject to conscious control. We can regulate how we breathe and what we focus on. And if in ordinary life we more often give preference to thinking over thoughts and forget about the sensations of the body, then paying attention to breathing changes the situation.

If you just think about how we breathe, then the relationship between body and mind is restored inside. At the everyday level, this can be used as an easy way to distract yourself during a bout of fatigue or intense experiences. Sometimes it's really better to think about how long it takes to exhale than about dirty dishes or resentment against a friend. But there are also more subtle processes associated with conscious breathing.

Any spiritual practice, martial arts, free movement trainings, many types of psychotherapy begin with breathing. It is the starting point for self-exploration that opens the door to the world of one's own physical sensations and emotions. This is a direct path to a more sensitive attitude towards oneself and switching consciousness to a balanced mode of work. It is on the breath that most meditations are based - for example, the famous Buddhist practice "monkey mind".

Give the monkey a task

In Buddhism, "monkey mind" is the fuss that constantly occurs in the head. And instead of following the lead of the inner monkey, you can make friends with her and give her a simple task: monitor your breathing. Whatever thoughts are born, let them rush by. All this can be thought of a little later. So far, the only task is to remember about breathing.

Inhale-exhale: extremely simple and accessible at any time. Another variation of this exercise is to count breath cycles from one to ten, then start over. If you lose count or come to your senses only when the number 45 flashes in your head, this will mean that the monkey has distracted from its simple business and again began to grind vain thoughts. If you want, you can return it to a simple inner counting at any time, that's all meditation.

Breathe freely. You don't have to climb to the top of the mountain or attend special classes. Breathing with you at any moment of life, at every minute. And we can confidently assert: the more freedom and awareness in your breathing, the more free and conscious life becomes in general. It's just a matter of practice

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