Each one of us has been breathing since the day we were born, but very few of us have ever stopped to observe how our breath moves. This is because we have never learned about the power of breath.
What if you were to learn that the patterns of your breath directly affect your mental and physical health and that a few simple breathing techniques can unlock enhanced wellbeing in your life? Would you be interested to learn more? If so, read on!
What is normal breathing?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “A person's respiratory rate is the number of breaths you take per minute. The . A respiration rate under 12 or over 25 breaths per minute while resting is considered abnormal.”
But what about the quality of your breathing? You may have a normal respiration rate, but if you take shallow breaths your lungs may not be reaching their full capacity, and carbon dioxide and other toxins may build up in the system.
Perhaps we should consider harnessing the power of our breath so we can optimize our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Breathing patterns are the key!
How to use a breathing pattern
Though breathing is automatic, it can also be controlled. Breathing in for a specific count (for example, a count of four), holding the breath for a count, and exhaling for a count, is one type of breathing pattern. Another example is breathing in and out at different count ratios. For example, breathing in for a count of four and out for a count of six.
There are thousands of different breathing patterns, also known as pranayamas, and though it may sound complicated, using a breathing pattern is really easy, especially when guided by an experienced teacher.
Using a specific breathing pattern is much like using a specific meditation technique. Each one comes with different benefits. Some patterns of breath provide relaxation, some are energizing, while others go deeper to release accumulated stress and toxins.
What is an abnormal breathing pattern?
One of the most common is anxiety-driven hyperventilation. Sighing respiration is also considered an abnormal breathing pattern, though it can sometimes be used as an intentional technique to relieve negative emotions. Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of difficulty breathing. And apnea, or sleep apnea, is the absence of breathing.
There are many more classifications of abnormal breathing. If you feel you may have an issue with abnormal respiratory patterns, please seek the advice of a respiratory therapist.
Breathing exercises 101
Here are some easy beginners and seasoned practitioners alike can incorporate into their daily physical and mental health routines.
Follow these step-by-step instructions.
Pursed-lip breathing, also known as straw breathing, is so simple you have probably done it unconsciously many times. To do pursed-lip breathing, breathe in deeply through the nose, and exhale through pursed lips, as if you have an invisible straw in your mouth. Repeat as often as you like with eyes open or closed. This breathing pattern is excellent for temporarily reducing blood pressure.
Diaphragmatic breathing is usually done lying flat on your back. If your lower back feels strained, keep your knees bent. Consciously relax your body, then put one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your belly. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs completely. As the lungs fill up, the diaphragm moves down, expanding your abdomen. Your chest should remain relatively still, while the hand on your belly gently rises. Exhale slowly through pursed lips for the count of four or six. Feel the abdomen fall and get gently pulled towards your spine. For best results, repeat these steps 10-15 times once daily.
Humming bee breath, also known as bhramari pranayama, is an easy breathing exercise that helps relieve frustration, anxiety, and anger. Humming bee breath is done in an upright position with a straight back. Watch this video for full instructions.
The best kept secret breathing pattern
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a breathing technique that gives you relaxation, an increase in energy, a deeper experience of meditation, and a release of stress and toxins?! That breathing technique exists…and it is called . SKY uses a unique breathing pattern that unlocks all the benefits listed above and more! Here are some of the benefits that SKY practitioners report.
Improved respiratory function
Significant reduction in stress
Enhanced deep sleep
Greater mental focus
Healthier blood pressure
Significant decrease in depression
Significant decrease in
SKY Breath Meditation is taught in just three short sessions over a three-day period and is available to learn online. A trained instructor will guide you through the course where you will also learn two additional techniques utilizing breathing patterns to optimize your mental and physical well-being.
To learn more about SKY Breath Meditation you can attend a session online. You will also get to experience bellows breath, an energizing breathing pattern you will be glad to know!
Click on the image below to choose your preferred day and time!