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  • Writer's pictureNico

When was the last time you stopped and took a few deep breaths?

If it's been a while, perhaps you stop reading and allow yourself to take a few deep + intentional breaths before going forward..

Great, now that you've done that, let's talk breathing + how it directly effects our nervous system + how YOU can control it to gain a deeper connection to your body + in fact, your life. Proper breathing goes by many names. You may have heard it called diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, or belly breathing. When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fully fills your lungs, and you will notice that your lower belly rises. The ability to breathe so deeply and powerfully is not limited to a select few. This skill is inborn but often lies dormant. Reawakening it allows you to tap one of your body's strongest self-healing mechanisms.

In short, our blood quality is gauged on the P.H Scale that essentially is testing how much acidity/alkaline [oxygen] is in our blood.

<Oxygen Blood = Homeostatic Phase [Parasympathetic Nervous System]

<Acidic Blood = Stress Induced [Sympathetic Nervous System]

Our nervous system is quite literally stimulated/directed from our current state of being.

This is where we have control in ensuring our blood is consistent in remaining alkaline and in a less stressed state.

Our body is capable of healing + is most efficient when in a oxygen induced setting or in a HOMEOSTATIC + AEROBIC setting. Think of working at a moderate pace for a long period of time.

Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, this type of breathing slows the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure.

Here's how to take a deep, healing, diaphragmatic breath: (01)

First steps. Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. Start by observing your breath. First take a normal breath. Now try taking a slow, deep breath. The air coming in through your nose should move downward into your lower belly. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural). Alternate normal and deep breaths several times. Pay attention to how you feel when you inhale and exhale normally and when you breathe deeply. Shallow breathing often feels tense and constricted, while deep breathing produces relaxation.

Now practice diaphragmatic breathing for several minutes. Put one hand on your abdomen, just below your belly button. Feel your hand rise about an inch each time you inhale and fall about an inch each time you exhale. Your chest will rise slightly, too, in concert with your abdomen. Remember to relax your belly so that each inhalation expands it fully.

Breath focus in practice. Once you've taken the steps above, you can move on to regular practice of breath focus. As you sit comfortably with your eyes closed, blend your breathing with helpful imagery and a focus word or phrase that will help you relax. Imagine that the air you breathe in washes peace and calm into your body. As you breathe out, imagine that the air leaving your body carries tension and anxiety away with it. As you inhale, try saying this phrase to yourself: "Breathing in peace and calm." And as you exhale, say: "Breathing out tension and anxiety." When you first start, 10 minutes of breath focus is a reasonable goal. Gradually add time until your sessions are about 15 to 20 minutes long.

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