Have you read the headlines about Hilary Clinton’s love of alternate-nostril breathing? Yes, breathwork is finally a ‘thing’ at CNN.
There are so many different breathing practices and corresponding stories of greatness. Athletes, politicians, yogis, monks, martial arts masters, first responders, and deep sea divers have been in on the secret for eons.
If you can’t imagine yourself standing in line at the grocery store pressing your fingers alternately against your nostrils while you allow your eyes to roll to the back of your head then I have good news for you!
You can create an effective breath code for relaxation and focus in about 30 seconds and you can do it anywhere, anytime.
I have tried many different breathing techniques and they all made me panic. This is not the desired effect. Just the thought of having to “hold” or breathe out for a specific count made me squirm and gasp. Surely I was not getting enough air, my brain refused the concept.
The missing link for me? Tuning into my own intuition and rhythm was key.
Here is how to figure out your own personal breath code.
- Sit comfortably and bring your attention to your normal relaxed breathing.
- Start counting as you inhale, make note of the number. This is the first number of your code.
- Exhale with your lips slightly pursed (like you were going to whistle but changed your mind). Count as you do this. Exhale completely. This is the second number of your code.
- After you exhale completely you may feel a wonderful stillness. Notice it, count, see how long you can float in that stillness before the inhalation reflex initiates again. This is the third number of your breath code.
Your code might be: 4-7-3, or 5-8-4 or completely different. The code you came up with is perfect for you.
Now just doing this will be incredibly relaxing and you will remember it and want to repeat it. The more you do it the more you’ll want to do it. You can use it for falling asleep, getting back to sleep, changing mental gears from work mode to relax mode, and increasing mental focus but I think the most amazing thing you can use it for is to stop the panic mode. This is where the numbers become important. When you are in panic mode and you’re breathing like a hummingbird, remind yourself of your code and start breathing accordingly. Your body will respond quickly and you will be amazed at how you just naturally flow back to a state of calm. Honestly, once you get into the practice of using this tool it is like flicking a switch.
Let me know how it works for you.