What is Mindful Breathing? [3 Powerful Exercises]

Breathing

Breathing

The short answer, to what is mindful breathing, is that mindful breathing is the starting point for inspiration and creativity!

Are you looking for more energy and intensity during your activities, or looking for deeper sleep, or to regain quickly a state of great calm during a stressful situation?

We will present you here with a brief overview of what is mindful breathing, with mindful breathing techniques for rest, for calmness, and for stimulation.

Training with Powerful Consciousness allows a higher level of self-mastery.

The benefits of mindful breathing according to western and oriental medecine

We all agree that life ex-utero becomes possible thanks to breathing!

In classical Western medicine, it is understood that proper breathing allows an optimal delivery of oxygen through the blood and removal of carbon dioxide.

In traditional oriental medicine, breathing is seen as the Life Force or Energy (or Prana, Chi, Qi or Ki), that we inhale and exhale.

Both Western doctors and oriental medicine men and women consider that the sooner children can be thought to inhale and exhale in full consciousness, the sooner this subtle invisible energy can better freely flow in themselves and will be able to balance their physical and mental health.

On the other hand, when the breath is suboptimal, when this free flow is interrupted, life’s energy become stagnated, and one becomes more prone to disease.

Although few Western doctors believe in this Life Force principle in the same magical way as the Oriental doctors, they will admit that good breathing will calm the body and mind and contribute to a good health, while shortness of breath or rapid breathing will increase stress symptoms. The pile up of such negative symptoms has a direct incidence with physical and mental ailments.

Three types of breathing benefits

Videos in English demonstrating these breathing techniques are coming soon! They can be viewed in French here.

Depending on the breathing technique used, a good breath will be one of three kinds, selected according to the resulting impact on your physiology:

1. Calming down: abdominal breathing, complete yogic breathing

2. Stabilizing: bramhari breathing, ujjayi breathing, so-called square breathing

3. Stimulating: kapalabhati breathing, whirlpool breathing respiration

For this brief article, we will only describe the first and simplest technique of each kind. Stay tuned for our forthcoming article on the more advanced versions.

Calming breath: abdominal breathing

You’re hereby invited, laying down on the ground, to close your eyes, breath in by the nose, and let your belly slowly inflate like a balloon. Then, you will exhale through the nose as your belly calmly comes down and deflates.

Be careful to let this all be done in free flow, without forcing the breath or outcome in any way.

The aim is for a natural rhythm. The inhalation lets the next exhalation be, which in turns brings forth the next inhalation.

One will enjoy the feeling of a wave created thus in the body, very simply.

You can note the abdominal expansion during the air intake, followed by its relaxation during the exhale.

Once the technique is mastered on the ground, meaning that it’s effortless and natural to do, you can practice it also in a seated or standing position, and eventually during daily life throughout your activities.

Practice at each level for at least 10 minutes.

Stabilizing breath: Brahmari breathing

This technique is first practiced without holding your breath. It is well-liked of everyone, and its effects are quick to show its benefits in terms of a clear mind for creative activities and a proper state for meditation.

In a seated position, you will close your eyes and inhale by the nose while, just as with the adominal breathing, you will let your belly inflate like a round balloon.

It’s the exhale that is different. As you exhale with closed lips, without clenching teeth but instead keeping a small distance between the jaws, you let out a long low yet very audible sound, similar to a bumblebee humming.

Keep at it for at least 5 minutes.

If you don’t produce sound during the exhale, then this is called Ujjayi breathing, which can also be done with eyes open and in movement.

Stimulating breath: Kapalabhati breathing

Kapalabhati or fire breathing is a shallow breath, rapid and continuous.

An efficient way to practice it is to aim to push in the belly button forcefully into the belly during a quick exhale through both nostrils. Thus this is an active exhalation. On the other hand, the inhale shall be passive, natural, automatic.

Repeat this action with a sustained continuous rhythm.

The right adominal motion is essential during this technique: during the exhale, the belly button should feel like it’s going inside the belly, while during the inhale, it should feel outside.

Start slowly and let your body acquire a memory of the process. Over time, this breathing technique will become second-nature, quick and powerful.

Conclusion

A caution: if you feel any sign of faintness, with or without dizziness, please stop and return to normal breathing.

Don’t worry however, this symptom is a common reaction to a greater influx of oxygen to the brain and other organs.

Resume your Powerful Consciouness breathing after the symptoms have disappeared.

Any questions? Please leave a comment!

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11 Responses to What is Mindful Breathing? [3 Powerful Exercises]

  1. Mary says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard of this before. I had no idea how breathing could help your creative flow. I always knew that it could help you relax but had no Idea it could help with anything else. This site is super interesting to me thank you for sharing. Does breathing help you in physical fitness activities as well?

    • Lyne says:

      It is a big “YES” as an answer to your question Mary!
      Mindful breathing increases your endurance during exercises and helps you bounce back more quickly from physical exertion. Body and mind both benefit from that boost of energy levels!!
      So in whatever we do, let’s breathe mindfully!!!

  2. Joyce Anderson says:

    I loved this article and the one image you chose is perfect (actually, I would say more like magical) for your topic. I have long been a fan of yoga, which focuses as much or more on breathing as it does on the physical poses. I think of it as meditation, counseling, prayer, massage, chiropractic, and exercise all in one 🙂

    The style of breathing that captured my attention the most in your post is Brahmari breathing. I love the idea of spending five minutes before writing content being able to supply the mind with energy for creativity, and look forward to seeing the English version of your upcoming videos!

    Great information, really appreciate your post!

  3. Madeleine says:

    I didn’t know there were so many forms of mindful breathing? I had to learn how to breathe for calmness a couple of months ago, when I suddenly became afflicted with anxiety and panic attacks. Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t breath at all, and that started the panic attacks. The feeling of suffocation is terrible! I have mostly conquered the anxiety since, and the panic attacks are mostly gone. I have to practise mindful breathing often, when stress threatens to overwelm me. I am going to read some of your other posts too. Thank you. 

    • Lyne says:

      Wow Madeleine… what a nice accomplishment!
      Thanks a lot for reading us and thanks even more for sharing with us your own experience…let’s all continue to think about breathing mindfully more and more often!

  4. MazieD says:

    Hi Lyne,

    I like your introduction and I also believe in agreeing with you, that the first step to a health lifestyle is breathing positive air into your lungs; by this I mean, a few minutes to breathe and meditate is all it takes to clear the mind of stress and other harmful substance that exist in the atmosphere.

    I am sure your message will be well received and will make on impact on others.

    Regards

    MazieD

    • Lyne says:

      Hi MazieD,

      On the same wavelength regarding the nice benefits, aren’t we! Writing about mindful breathing is for me a way to propagate them!

      Thanks a lot for contributing to that too, with that nice comment of yours!

  5. Dalia Fomekong says:

    Hi, I have been interested in the exercises you give. I want to know If I can do that to have a better sleep? By the past, I have use the technic of 4-7-8. That means do an inspiration by the nose 4 seconds then stopping breathing 7 seconds before to expire 8 seconds by the mouth. With that technic, I sleep quickly.

    • Lyne says:

      Hi Dalia, thank you for showing your interest!
      “4-7-8 breathing technique”, that you already practice, fits in the “calming down” category of a future post addressed to people already familiar with mindful “abdominal breathing”. So if you wish to go back to this basic one and use it with the same good intention to sleep quickly, make sure to lengthen both the inhale and the exhale, without holding one’s breath in between but in a continuous manner. The longer, the better…results!

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