Conscious Breathing – Continued
There are two specific physiological factors that are important to know so you can apply conscious breathing on the fly and understand why some of the techniques work.
1. I learned in energy medicine that our bodies have polarities (which require balancing).
The left side of our body holds our yin energy. (Feminine, passive, receptive, and taking in.)
The right side of our body holds our yang energy. (Masculine, aggressive, active, giving out, and letting go.)
2. According to Dennis Lewis in Free Your Breath, Free Your Life: How Conscious Breathing Can Relieve Stress, Increase Vitality, and Help You Live More Fully, accessing the right hemisphere of the brain (through left nostril breathing) activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which activates a relaxation response. As opposed to your sympathetic nervous system which activates your fight or flight responses during times of stress, anger and anxiety.
In addition, Mr. Lewis explains that when your exhalation is longer than your inhalation it also activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Add-ons to Conscious Breathing Techniques
In Free Your Breath, Free Your Life, Dennis Lewis explains that when your exhalation is longer than your inhalation it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which activates a relaxation response. This simple method can be applied as a breathing technique for anger, stress and anxiety.
This makes sense to me. [Notice that you exhale through your mouth when you are tired or frustrated. This is because doing so relaxes your jaw and shoulders, two areas that retain a lot of stress, as well as for the reason above.]
Did you ever notice that when you are stressed or frustrated you tend to sigh, exhaling through the mouth? Another word for frustration is exasperation which includes the root aspirate from the Latin “to breathe toward.” (I love words!)
There is a major physical benefit to minimizing the effects of any stress (fear, anger, and anxiety) as it stimulates the fight or flight response. The stress response diverts energy away from the immune and digestive systems and increases blood flow and energy in limbs (for flight). Frequent activation of the stress response can lead to digestive issues, decreased immune system function (getting sick frequently) and adrenal fatigue. It can also lead to weight gain because the stress hormone cortisol is released and in excess, paired with decreased digestive system function causes weight gain.
#9 -How I Use Breathing for Energy Self-Healing
I am unable to visualize, so I use my breath to guide my energy flow to the site of pain. (This is after doing Louis Hay’s affirmations for the site of the pain, of course!)
Our energy flow (chi, prana or qi) is our life force.
Breathing into the area of the pain while holding your hand on it will direct the flow of your chi. Rub your hands together to warm and energize them. I like to say “Thank you for making my hands heavy with healing and light.”
If you can visualize, visualize white light coming down and flowing through the top of your head, through your body, and out of your hands and into the pain.
Our breath is more useful than we are generally aware of. If you apply the techniques suggested in my guest post Tips for Conscious Breathing and Eight Specific Uses you will see how useful it can be.
You can also find the first part with its add-ons here.
I little slip of paper fell out of a book the other day. It contained a technique for breathing yourself to sleep. I believe I am supposed to share it with you.
Having Trouble Falling Asleep?
This elegant little technique will put you to sleep and help you sleep more peacefully. It uses an effortless 2-to-1 breath – exhaling about twice as long as you inhale. Observe your breath attentively. Breathe without pauses, jerks, or shakiness. Get into bed and take:
8 breaths lying on your back;
16 breaths lying on your right side;
32 breaths lying on your left side.
-from” Taming the Roller Coaster,”
Yoga International magazine
May you perceive and receive all your blessings.
With Much Love,
Copyright © 2013 Indigo Sky, LLC; All Rights Reserved
Let me know if you try this method, or any other I’ve suggested. Tell me how it worked for you.