In West we don’t pay much attention to the breath, but it’s the main system in our body that reflects stress. One of the best ways to deal with stress but not well known is actually to use the breath.
Deep breathing calms the mind, and paradoxically, a calm mind creates deeper more profound natural breath. If the breath becomes shallow or irregular, apart from our physical well-being, it affects our emotional balance, so correct breathing not only affects the quality of our life, but also the length of our life. One only needs to look at the life span of an elephant or a tortoise and how they breathe to know that, for sure, there is a connection between a slow breath rate and a long life!!!
If you learn how to breathe well you will without a doubt sleep better, it will relieve tension in your body, your skin will look more plump, your eyes will be brighter, your immune system will become more robust, your power of concentration will improve and you will feel calmer and more relaxed generally. The breath is like an interface between the body and the mind, every thought, every emotion, in fact everything you do, has a direct effect on your breath….Taking control of your breath will help you take control of your mind…
Breathing has an effect on every single cell of our body and is intimately linked with the heart and brain. We breathe about 15 times per minute which means we are breathing 21,600 times a day. It’s the breath that gives power to the transformation of oxygen and glucose which is needed for every movement we make, all the glandular secretion and the functionality of the brain.
For instant stress relief try this:
- Sit quietly with your spine straight
- Take your attention to the mind and notice the rhythm of the breath
- Notice that your breath becomes more shallow
- Notice that you feel out of balance
- Now turn your attention down to your heart…….
- Notice what happens to the breath
- You breath will immediately start to slow down
- You will notice that your breath becomes longer and deeper
The ancient yogi’s recognised the importance of the heart as a principal connecting point to your inner being. As soon as you turn your attention inwards, towards the heart, practically instantaneously, your breath rate starts to slow and you will feel so much calmer.