Guest post by VYC Ambassador Mandi Mack
Take a moment right now, and pay attention to your breath. When was the last time you acknowledged you were breathing? How does your breath feel? It’s subtle, so you may have to really focus. How deep is your breath? Is your inhale high, only filling the space in your chest? Or low into your belly? Take a moment to count both your inhale and exhale. How long does it take to fully fill your lungs and then empty them? Which nostril is more open for the breath to flow? Fun fact: Nostril dominance switches ever 90-120 seconds.
Heating and Cooling the Body
So now that you’re tapped in, how could this breath be a super power? Would you be surprised if I told you it has the ability to change your temperature, increase or decrease your energy, and is a way for you to gauge and harness the power of your emotions? It heats and cools your body. What is the science to this you ask? Oxygen plays an important role in a chemical reaction that produces heat. So as a side effect, the more you breathe the more your cells are able to respond and the more heat you can generate. It doesn’t stop there; when we layer in the energetics we have the ability to cool the body as well. So how do we harness that? Breathe more? The short answer, yes, or if you really want to heat up try this:
While seated place your hands on your belly, imagine there is a candle in front of your nose, for 15 breathes you are going to pretend like you are blowing a candle out through your nose, in For the opposite effect, to cool the body, try this: if you can curl your tongue do so with your tongue just lightly out your mouth. If that’s a challenge, not a problem, pretend you are sipping in through a straw into and out of your mouth with your breath slowly. Do this for 10 breaths and notice the cooling sensation start on your tongue and work its way into the rest of your body.
Increasing and Decreasing Energy Levels
Having a hard time falling asleep? Want to calm your busy mind? Try covering your right nostril and breathing in and out solely through your left side. Your left nostril stimulates the cooling, calming energy which soothes and relaxes the mind. I often do this while lying in bed on my right side, so I can prop my hand with a pillow and drift off to lala land as I do. Do you need the opposite? A bit of an energy boost? Try the opposite, swap nostrils; cover your left nostril this time breathing in and out through the right. The right nostril is one of stimulating nature, so it energizes and invigorates the body to get going.
Breath as an Emotional Gauge
Think about your breath, how do you breathe when you’re crying, or angry? Or when you’re happy or excited, it’s different right? Next time you are feeling any type of emotion, take a moment to notice your breath, and then while continuing to feel, take a few moments to breathe deeply in and out slowing your breath. Be present to the emotion you are feeling, as you drop into your breath you will notice a shift. And it will be amazing!
Relieving Stress with Breath
Here is another layer, when stressed we breathe in our chest. What you probably don’t know is that your lymphatic fluid has no pump to move and relies on your muscles and your breath for movement. When you’re breathing in a shallow manor your lymphatic fluid is stuck which can result in stress and sickness. You need to breathe deep to encourage the lymphatic fluid to move. Breath can help enhance your immune response.
I DARE YOU TO……. Pick one breath in this article and try it out, for a week , and let me know what it was like for you. Good luck!