The first time I came to experience the power of the breath was during my pregnancy. I started to go to yoga classes during my first trimester and continued also throughout my hole pregnancy. It helped me a lot both mentally and physically to cope with the difficulties I had during this time. I also became aware of ‘yoga breathing’ during labor and how helpful it could be. After all the positive results during my pregnancy I decided that I’d try to go through the labor of birth by exercising yoga breathing and not to have any epidural or other type of anesthetics. I won’t try to tell you that I didn’t feel any pain by breathing this way but I managed to go through the hole labor with my breathing technique and gave birth naturally to my son. I’m not arguing in any means for or against giving birth naturally or with anesthesia (that is a complete different discussion) just stating my experience and how I came to experience the power, breathing can have.
When I was reading the book by Bitten Jonsson and Pia Nordström, Sockerbomben 3.0 (The Sugarbomb 3.0) I came across this topic again. In the book Bitten and Pia talk several time about how important breathing is and how our breathing is actually affected in our daily busy and stressful lives.
It is amazing how easy it seems and yet how difficult it actually is to breathe correctly! How can we breathe the right or wrong way, you might ask? Don’t we breathe ‘automatically’? Well, it is true that we don’t have to make the decision every time to take a breath, it is controlled by the autonomic nervous system but we can also affect our breathing consciously. Most of us breathe shallow breaths through the chest and not deep breathes through the diaphragm as we are supposed to which means that we don’t give our bodies the chance to detox itself the way it is supposed too. The basic of breathing technic is to try to inhale and exhale through the nose and equally, so if you inhale for 4 seconds your exhale should also be 4 seconds long. You also need to breathe deeply using your diaphragm (you can se your stomach contracting and relaxing). If you try this for 10 breaths you will notice the difference with your ‘normal’ breathing immediately. There is a science to breathing and if you are interested I recommend that you just google ‘conscious breathing’ to learn more. Conscious breathing can affect sleeping patterns, weight loss, mental health and a lot more!
Good luck conscious breathing.