How to breathe more deeply
Learne how to breathe more deeply and it will change your life. This is because the breath is intimately connected to the nervous system.
In order to get more breath you have ‘to do’ less.
Learning to surrender and trust the breath is fundamental to breath training. This is part of learning how to breathe more deeply. It’s almost as if the breath breathes you, rather than you breathing the breath. We often try to force out the belly in an effort to deepen the breath. However, this idea of forcing the belly out will shorten the breath and not lengthen it. In life, we assume that we have to control everything in order to get more, but the more you try and control the breath, the less you get.
Rushing around in our busy life with all the things we have to fit into our day creates stress which shortens the breath. When the breath becomes short and shallow you’ll feel uptight and unable to relax. In turn, you won’t get a good nights sleep.
You need to find time in your day to breathe if you want to sleep well.
Your breath tells the story. Take a few moments to observe the breath right now..is it long and deep? Or is it trying to tell you something? Take notice of the messages of the breath.
In my up book Breathe Better, Sleep Better, I’ve included my Surrendered Breath technique based on the total abandonment of any tension in the body and any mental interaction with breathing. It is a process where you allow yourself to be breathed by the breath.
My surrendered breath practise is specifically designed for you to learn how to breathe more deeply
It will take 30 minutes and can be done in the evening at bedtime as part of your winding down ritual.
Find a nice, quiet spot and lay on your back. Put a cushion under your knees to keep the pressure off your back.
Set a timer for thirty minutes, with a bell at ten minute intervals. If you have a smartphone, the Insight Timer app is great for this. If not, choose an alarm tone on your mobile that is not jarring – a simple, gentle bell is perfect.
For the first ten minutes, just follow your breath. Don’t actively try to do anything; just take long, deep breaths and try to let go on the out breath. If you feel comfortable, make a sound on the out breath – but don’t force anything. If your mind wanders (it probably will), just keep coming back to the breath. Continue this until the first alarm sounds.
In the second ten minutes, observe the pause between the in and the out breath. Just observe it without doing anything. Again if your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath.
In the last ten minutes see if you can lengthen the pause between the inhale and the exhale for a couple of seconds. You are not holding the breath, wait for the breath to come and don’t grab for the breath. It’s a beautiful sensation when the breath starts to infuse your whole being from the root to the crown of the head. Be patient, do the practice without expectation and you’ll start noticing a new relationship with your breath.
Visit my Sleepology Sleep School for my course on how to breathe more deeply.