What is conscious breathing?
Conscious breathing is the act of focusing on your breath while you take it deep into your lungs, properly extending the diaphragm.
My first experience of this type of breathing after childhood (as we all do it naturally as children) sent so much oxygen to my brain, I felt quite dizzy.
The second time, I almost fell asleep I was so relaxed. And then I stopped being aware of my breathing and the whole process fell back into my subconscious until I met Dr John McGregor, a consultant radiologist at Lancaster Royal Infirmary and, intriguingly, a Shamen.
The conscious breathing practice I did in John’s group took me on a journey deep into my heart, around my vital organs and sent pure, sizzling energy up through my spine into my brain. It was unlike anything I’d experienced before and my health immediately improved as a result.
The thing with breathing is it’s a bit like communication in that ‘you can’t not do it!’
We breathe on average about 20,000 times in a 24 hour period.
The human body is so very trainable though, it’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it including slowing down your breathing and holding your breath.
The current world record is for 19 minutes and 21 seconds underwater. Phenomenal what we can do on one breath, considering we’re not Sperm Whales!
Unless you have a deep desire to free dive for as long/deep as possible or hunt fish as you live in the Philippines, why would you want ot control your breath to that degree?
What’s the point of bringing attention to it and being able to control your breathing?
Well, I touched on it before. Its fantastic way of diverting your brain’s attention from your stress-producing thoughts, coming down from your head and “being” in your body, connecting with it and finding out what’s going on with it as a consequence of those emotion-producing thoughts and improving your state of health. This happens to be something that your brain is really good at.
A startling example of this for me was when I introduced breathing consciously into my group trainings.
I was in Preston, Lancashire (UK) for the day and had two sessions booked. One in the morning and one in the afternoon with a break for me to recharge my own batteries.
The groups where people who were facing redundancy and as you can imagine, this is a quite stressful popsition to be in.
I started the morning session with the breathing and took the 20 participants on a relaxing, guided tour of their bodies.
Considering they were all feeling the effects of a stressful situation in their lives, they all, without exception, relaxed enough to cry and share their grief and fear for the future. There was also a period where each person connected with what they really wanted and realises how much of a toll their interpretation of the situation was taking on their health.
Two people stuck in my mind from that day.
After the morning session, one man immediately made a call to a company who had offered him a job.
He very authentically communicated that he didn’t want it and gave his reasons why. They counter offered, answered all of his concerns and included everything he wanted plus a bit more. He was delighted, took the job and, to my knowledge, is still there, enjoying it very much.
The second man stayed for the afternoon session as he wanted to do the breathing again.
He had high blood pressure and stomach problems and just so LOVED the sensation of being gentle, thankful and accepting of himself that he wanted to repeat the process and practice healing himself from the inside out.
We kept in touch after and, as he kept on practicing which meant the right amount of oxygen was reaching where it was needed all around his body with fewer, deeper breaths, his stress levels dropped and health significantly improved without the need for significant medical intervention.
Considering that breathing is something we don’t really pay that much attention to unless we can’t do it very easily for some reason, like when you have a cold, bringing attention to your breathing is a small thing that can have a surprisingly huge, positive impact on your natural state of health and well-being.
To experience the process of conscious breathing for yourself, there is a video on my website www.thinkandtransform.com.
Please try it for yourself or download the complimentary Natural Intelligence workbook which has a script included to guide you through how to do it.
To your diminished stress and much improved health.
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