3 minute stress relief

What is “Natural” Breathing?

Correct, simple natural breathing should look like this:

Breathe in and the navel point moves out.  Breathe out and the navel point moves in. Use the nose to filter the air and exhale completely.

Many people have incorrectly learned to breathe and inhale by drawing the belly in.  This actually makes less space for air in the lungs rather than more.  This is key.  In fact, it may be the single most important thing you learn in all of Kundalini yoga.  How to breathe properly changes everything.

Another common breathing mistake is shallow, erratic breathing done all in the upper chest.  Breathing correctly and deeply in your day-to-day life changes the amount of energy have in reserve to manage emergencies.  It is also the easiest path to the development of higher consciousness.  Shallow breathing is caused by stress and its continued state weakens our nervous system, making an environment ripe for illness.  Emotionally, trauma gets stored in our muscular system and proper breathing allows its release.  It’s a way of removing the body armor we build up to shield ourselves from trauma, which left alone stiffens both the body and the heart.  Correct breathing increases the flow of prana, so you feel increased vitality and a general sense of well-being.

Breath Frequency

If we can lower the frequency at which we breathe, great things can happen.  Normally men breathe at a rate of 16-18 cycles a minute; women breathe at 18-20 cycles per minute.  Now if we can lower that to 8 cycles a minutes (a cycle includes a full inhale and exhale), we will feel much more relaxed.  Stress will begin to melt and mental acuity sharpens as the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged.  If we can reduce our breathing further to 4 cycles a minute, we will experience a feeling of greater awareness, clarity and sensitivity.  At this point, the pituitary and pineal glands coordinate to produce a heightened meditative state.  If you can make it all the way to 1 cycle per minute, called One Minute Breath, some pretty amazing things start to happen.  In One Minute Breath, you take 20 seconds to inhale, hold for 20 seconds and then exhale for 20 seconds.  Try this three times, for three full minutes. This stimulates the best cooperation between the brain hemispheres and puts a damper on feelings of fear, anxiety and worry.  Intuition blossoms, as does a feeling of unification with all.

N. Lenz