Breathing is automatic, but not always optimal. You have the ability to consciously alter the speed, depth, and quality of the breath experience.
Why would I want to do that?!? (good question)
Breathing is directly linked to your body’s nervous system. So when your breath is quick or erratic, like when feeling frustrated it sends a fight/flight signal to your brain. Thus creating a stress loop.
When your breath is long, smooth and slow, like when you are in your creative work groove it sends a signal to rest/digest. Thus creating a relaxation loop.
So…. what do I have to do to stay in the Relaxation Loop? (another good question)
Sit back in your chair, spine nice and tall, feet flat on the ground.
Put your hands on your: BELLY so you can feel it fill up on the INHALE and empty on the EXHALE.
Put your hands on your: SIDE RIBS so you can feel them expand on the INHALE and contract on the EXHALE.
Put your hands on your: CHEST so you can feel it rise on the INHALE and fall on the EXHALE.
Take your time with this so you actually feel those three zones moving with the breath cycles.
Now what?!? (full of good questions)
Now rest your hands in you lap and combine the three zones into one complete breath. Like this…
INHALE into your belly first, then ribs, then finally chest
EXHALE first from the chest, then ribs and finally the belly softens.
Keep this practice very soft and relaxed. Don’t fill up with too much breath!