Manage Your Mental State and Physiology
What is perhaps more powerful than your mind and has more power over your body?
It has the power to distract your attention from your negative thoughts and reduces your anxiety levels. It has the power to stabilize your heartbeat, and it can counter the accumulation of physical tension in your body associated with stress.
I’ll give you a hint…
It’s something you do all the time for 365 days out of the year. But you don’t necessarily do it consciously. If you do control it for a certain amount of time in those 365 days, then it can make you less vulnerable to physical and mental stress.
You may have guessed it, it is breathing.
And it’s not just your normal breathing, but controlled, conscious breathing. The problem is you don’t practice controlled breathing enough. You don’t practice it a few times a day, not even once a day, to help you quell your fears, to help you avoid panic attacks, and to help you keep your body calm and relaxed.
Perhaps you think breathing is too simplistic. Perhaps you think it’s obvious, self-evident, plain, and therefore uninspiring.
Or it’s just too ordinary for it to be a real remedy for your complex health issues of today.
Maybe you just feel you shouldn’t mess around with something your body naturally does.
Breath Is the Bridge Between Body and Your Spirit
Believe it or not – Chinese Taoists and Indian Hindus have long used breathing techniques to prevent sickness, prolong youth, and achieve longevity.
Today, many medical doctors are aware of deep breathing as a way to preserve health and even cure dis-ease. But they are unable to describe the breathing techniques used. They are unable to give you detailed instructions on how a special breathing practice can help your ailment.
Scientific analysis of breathing techniques is growing. Fortunately, Taoist and yoga techniques have led the way. They have shown that by using a combination of exercise and breathing, you can have an efficient and effective method for taking in oxygen and other key elements from the air. These natural elements are life-giving.
And these techniques are essential for effectively removing toxins from your body. In fact, they say 70% of toxins are removed from your body through breathing alone. The breath when properly controlled can purify, repair, and clean your body.
Scientifically speaking, when you do deep breathing exercises, the parasympathetic nervous system switches on. This increases the activity of your vagus nerve, The vagus nerve in turn controls and measures the internal activity of your internal organs.
Your heart rate slows, your blood pressure decreases and your muscles relax.
When your body is calm, a signal goes to your brain, easing your mind to believe everything is peaceful and ok.
2 Types Of Breathing: External and Internal
Normal breathing is done through your nose. Conscious breathing requires you to use something in addition to your nose.
When it comes to Tai Chi practice, it turns out that breathing is not only done through the nose but there’s something called internal breathing that is performed in Tai Chi practice.
When breathing is done through the nose and lungs, it is called postnatal breathing. This can be called external breathing.
There’s another type of breathing done through the abdomen. This is called prenatal breathing or internal breathing.
Before you were born, you took blood and food from your mother via the umbilical cord, and breath is circulated in your body from your mother. In the womb, you were breathing through your belly.
How does it apply to you right now as a fully living human being?
While practicing Tai Chi during exhalation, postnatal breath rises up out of your body. This is done mechanically. Then the prenatal breath (also known as your Chi) sinks down to the lower abdominal region. This is done consciously.
While practicing Tai Chi during inhalation, postnatal breath goes down your body, into your lungs. Then the prenatal breath, your Chi, rises up to your heart and anywhere else your spirit wants it to go.
Breathe To Relax And Excite
Let’s do a quick exercise:
Start by releasing (let go of your thoughts, emotions and tension). Exhale and relax into your feet. Your feet are planted firmly on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
Energize, inhale, raise your arms up high.
Then relax back down, exhale, feel the soles of your feet.
Let’s do this together – step by step:
- Inhale, energize the fingers up. Then exhale, relax back down.
- As you exhale, feel the breath come out of your lungs, but also feel the Chi, which is another term for breath, sinking down into your lower dantien in your lower abdominal region.
- Inhale up. Feel the air, the breath, go into your body. Your Chi rises up.
- Then exhale, relax back down. Feel the air coming out of your lungs, but also feel your Chi sink down into your belly.
- Energize, inhale, breath in, but then feel your Chi rise up from your tailbone upward through your back, over your head, and let it go down into your mouth.
- Exhale, relax, and bring your Chi downward into your lower dantien.
- One more time. Inhale, energize. The air goes into your body. Feel your Chi rising up along the back of your body, over your head, down into your mouth.
- Then exhale, relax, sink your Chi down to your belly.
Remember: Most of your toxins are removed through respiration.
Breath connects mind and body. It connects the body and spirit. There is power to breathwork.
What if you can use the combination of breathing and exercise like Tai Chi to prolong life? To prevent sickness and to help you develop from the inside out?
Now that you have a taste of this simple breathing exercise, you’re probably thinking: Is controlled breathing a way to increase your longevity?
You may have other questions:
Can it improve your sleep? Can it relieve chronic anxiety and pain? Can it be effective against psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorders?
Stay tuned and follow me on Facebook, as we continue to explore the power of breathing and how the power of your breath can be a way to increase your longevity.