If you are interested in adding breathwork to your health and wellness toolkit, then this article, which looks at exploring the conscious breath, might be for you.
Breathwork: Conscious Breath
The conscious breath is a technique that is often used before meditation. It can have a calming effect on the mind and body, making it a perfect technique to begin a meditative practice.
How to Practice the Conscious Breathing Technique
Start by finding a comfortable seat. Sit long and tall through the spine. Ground the sitting bones into the surface beneath them. Relax the shoulders away from the ears. Draw the crown of the head towards the ceiling.
If you can, inhale through the nose. Pause and hold your breath until it’s just a bit uncomfortable.
Open the mouth. Exhale through pursed lips. If you’re unsure what pursed lips are, it’s like puckering your as though you’re going to whistle or gently blow on a hot drink.
The exhale through the mouth should be long and slow, longer and slower than the inhale through the nose.
Then, close your mouth, and inhale through the nose. Repeat the cycle for several rounds of breathing.
Benefits of Conscious Breathing
Because of the slow and controlled pace of the conscious breathing technique, there are many relaxing benefits to practicing. Conscious breathing may improve our mood, sleep patterns, and ability to concentrate. If practiced routinely, this breathing pattern may improve blood pressure and respiratory functioning.
Additionally, breathing exercises directly affect the nervous system’s functioning. Slow, deliberate breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system handles the rest and digest function as opposed to the fight-flight-freeze response.
Contraindications of the Conscious Breath
We are not offering medical advice or information in this post. Please consult your doctor or medical professional before accessing any breathing exercises.
Breathing exercises may cause dizziness, faintness, or shortness of breath if you have low blood pressure or general sensitivities.
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About the Author: Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, HNB-BC, RYT (200) is a board-certified holistic nurse, registered yoga instructor, and reiki master.
Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a certified coach, nature lover, and avid meditator.
Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bulls. She enjoys gardening, jigsaw puzzles, farming, music, and hiking.