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.
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!Social tagging: Mindfulness