The best things in life are free, or so the saying goes. And when it comes to our body, we have an incredible, inbuilt way of being able to self regulate and calm our central nervous system, and it’s completely free, it’s called breathing!
When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit. - Goraksha Shataka, an early hatha yoga text, written in around the 10th century in the tantra tradition.
Breathing deeply, with a slow and steady inhalation and exhalation activates our parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) sometimes known as our ‘rest and digest mode’. And when our PSNS is activated, it slows our heart and breathing rates, lowers blood pressure and promotes digestion. Our body enters a state of relaxation and recovery and helps to bring our autonomic nervous system back into balance. And yet so often we find we do not take advantage of this incredible resource.
Breathwork is an integral part of meditation and yoga practice. And diaphragmatic breathing can have an extremely therapeutic effect. So what is diaphragmatic breathing and how do you do it? For this we turn to the fabulous Aimee Hartley. Aimee has devoted her career to sharing and educating children and adults on the amazing power of breath and good breathing technique.
Learning to breathe fully into the lower abdominal area is the first step to improving your breathing pattern. One technique is called Transformational BreathⓇ. Transformational Breath is an incredibly powerful breathwork and can help relieve symptoms of asthma, unearth repressed emotions and help release feelings of joy! Taken from Aimee’s brilliant book Breathe Well, here is a beginner’s practice to get you started.
Why not introduce aromatherapy into your breath-work and your day. Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell. Molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic effect on the whole body. Zoe Henderson has developed a range of incredible pure essential oil blends to help relieve the stresses of everyday life. Why not visit www.angeloil.com to shop our products today.
Lots of love, Zoë xx
* Source: Londonpainclinic.com / Breathe Well by Aimee Hartley Photo Credit Eugene Zhyvchik @ unsplash