Twenty four hours a day every day of your life, you breathe.
Respiration is the foremost function in the body, but how
much time do you actually consciously occupy yourself with
it? How would you like it if you turned your twenty-four hour
day into twenty-five? By regulating and increasing the awareness
of your breath, you may feel like you have achieved just this.
Moving from your general non-attendance of the breath to conscious
observance for at least 6 times a day for ten minutes at a
time will force you to stop and be. You are your breath, never
forget. The aftermath of this simple exercise will be a general
slowing down of your actions and your thoughts. This will
actually increase productivity not halt it, because you will
be much more in control and hugely focussed.
Take in a deep breath right now, fill your lungs smoothly
to the absolute brim and smile at the top of your breath,
feel how your shoulders rise with the expansion of the chest,
now hold it just for a moment. and breathe smoothly out of
your nose and let your shoulders fall back gently.How do you
Your breath can define you if you dont take care to watch
it. A short and shallow breath denotes your anxiety whereas
a long, slow and deep breath fills you with confidence and
composure. Wouldnt you like to feel confident and composed
every day of your life? Watching the breath regularly can
make you a very attractive person. Watching the breath maintains
in you an even tempered state; one of the aims of yoga.
Deep, conscious breathing brings your world into slow-motion,
giving you time to feel and giving you time to see. Imagine
how much more beauty you can capture in your heart. What a
happy bank of memories could be at your disposal. Mobile phones,
emails, cars all denote immediacy and allow you to cram more
and more into your life and the more you cram, the less aware
you become of the living, breathing, perfect organism that
is you. When you fully express your breath you fully express
Abnormal breathing patterns associated with stress can stimulate
panic attacks and further anxiety and incite over-activity
of the fight or flight mechanism (parasympathetic system).
By contrast, deep, slow breathing reduces sharp physical reactions
by assuaging the heartbeat and reducing blood pressure. Its
influence on your general emotional outlook is positive and
stabilising. The connection between heart rate and breathing
is called respiratory sinus arrhythmia..If you take longer
to exhale than to inhale, especially when you are relaxing,
the slowing down effect of the exhalation will predominate.
There is already a wonderful movement called Slow Food.
Good, clean and fair food. Start your own personal movement
called Slow Breath. Good, clean and fair air. This
may mean you have to turn your mobile phone off at times in
your waking day, it may mean you have to take yourself somewhere
peaceful for ten minutes a day, it may mean you moving away
from your computer screen for a few minutes at a time. Yes
it may mean you have to Respirate to Liberate; it goes
1) Inhale for 3 and exhale for 6
for ten minutes every three hours.
2) It is important to abstain from
stimulants either side of these times.
3) It is important that you take yourself
somewhere quiet and if you can in nature..
4) Add a Respirate to Liberate when
you hit a hard place at work or home.
5) Six applications a day is the minimum
requirement, do more if you can find time.
6) Apply before adrenaline fuelled
situations (meetings, boisterous children etc...).
YOUR BREATHING MANTRAS :
The slower and deeper I breathe, the slower and deeper
I live. My inhalation is as an elixir; my exhalation is a
profound detox tool.
Vicky Oliver is founder and director of whYoga, classes and
pre and post-natal yoga teacher training in London, England,
retreats in Europe - see www.whyoga.com