I first became aware of my breath six years ago when I went through my first yoga teacher training.
I sat down the first night of classes and focused on the repetitive "in through the nose and out though the mouth" breathing something that had once come and gone without a thought was now the center of my focus.
After spending time learning more about our breath it seems silly to think of it now as just another bodily function, our breath in our life force the simple inhale we take every couple of seconds is the one thing allowing us to continue living.
During my yoga teacher training we spent a lot of time honing our meditation practice, with various breathing techniques and visualization methods I found myself stifling a life long battle I had with anxiety and so I was instantly hooked.
The more I became aware of my breath I realized I had been incorporating "meditative breath" in many area of my life. While running I was taking deep repetitive breaths, when I needed to clear my thoughts I took one huge breath and held it for a few seconds, when I was feeling stressed out I found comfort in filling my stomach up with air.
All of these were different practices of slowing down and being more mindful of the air we were pulling in. I wanted to find more of a concrete answer to why this was so helpful to myself and many others. In my search I found the book "Breath" by James Nestor, which I devoured at a shocking speed.
Every page held a fascinating new fact, but one thing I took from the book was to inhale through your nose, each full breath should be around six seconds. Slowing down and letting your body fully utilize each breath allows your body to stay in a state of peace allowing it to work to its fullest capacity.
Try this breathing exercise
1. Inhale through your nose for six seconds
2. Slowly exhale through your mouth
Check out this website www.myamericannurse.com for additional breathing exercises https://www.myamericannurse.com/mindful-breathing/
Taking in all of this new information especially in the light of the last two years has made all of this even more interesting. Trying to slow down and romanticize each breath all while wearing a mask over our nose and mouth, or wild fire smoke polluting the air has been extra challenging.
I find myself more prone to quick shallow mouth breathing with fabric draped that close to my nose, it is a challenge I'm focused on over coming. The more you put something into practice the easier it becomes. If we all slow down, and remember how important each breath is we will all be a little bit more grounded and peaceful, something the whole world could use more of.