Whenever we breathe differently from usual, for example, when we are walking up a steep hill or experiencing a strong emotion, we might consciously become aware of and register our breathing. But at other times, we are oblivious to the process i.e., our mind is on other things. The continuity of our breathing therefore makes it an ideal subject for mindfulness. Breathing gives us a permanently available way to anchor ourselves in the present moment. The power of active breathing – voluntarily inhaling and exhaling to control our breathing rhythm – has been known and used throughout history.
How we breathe and the way in which we breathe affects our body and how we feel, and it even alters our heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels and overall health. While the breath acts like a barometer for how you’re feeling, it’s also a tool: breathing techniques can help us shift gears and change our emotional state – particularly helpful if we are under pressure.
Breathing exercises offer simple, effective, and convenient ways to relieve stress. There are several breathing exercises to try, each with its own twist. I will guide you through these techniques to help you process stress and everyday feelings. The best thing about using breath work for stress reduction is that it can be done anywhere, it is virtually error-proof and it is impossible for you to injure yourself whilst doing it. Breath is our life force and needs to be done properly to gain the full benefit.
2 minute mindfulness (that you can practice anywhere)
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I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher but, first and foremost, a devoted mindfulness practitioner. I am learning, discovering, and deepening my understanding every day. I have lived experience with mental health and young male suicide. As such I found mindfulness through my own experiences, studies, and practice.
What initially began as a stress management exercise has now become the mainstay of my daily life. Over the years I have cultivated my own personal practice by establishing a daily mindfulness practice and participating in mindfulness trainings.