Breathing our way to health & happiness, why isn't this a subject at school???
Breathing our way to health & happiness, why isn't this a subject at school???
Its a bloody good question, don't you think? Why don't we learn how to breathe at school? The "why don't we learn X,Y & Z at school" question is relevant to such a variety of subject matters these days, I personally think that we have outgrown the current system. If you are old enough you will remember your school teacher telling you to learn the maths times tables and a whole host of other unmemorable mathematical stuff. Telling us that we won't be able to carry our calculators everywhere. Jokes on you now my mathematical tormentors!!!! I just bet they weren't early iPhone technology adopters and resented having to change their age old teaching message, as they journey towards extinction. This however was back in the day when the Casio Scientific calculator had just been approved for us to use in the HSC... Back in the day when getting an approved calculator was a pretty big concern and paying for it was our parents problem. Imagine if at school there was a class that taught me to breath with the same vigor that they made me memorise Pythagorus' theorem or read Poor Mans Orange?? In fairness I did really like that book by Ruth Park. But hello ..... breathing folks??? Breathing could have helped us deal with so much of the anxiety about our 80's gel fringes, kissing boys on the back seat of the bus, the onset of depression when we George Michael got heterosexually married to that super hot asian chick and what we were going to do when we leave school? Honestly that last question still plagues me, I am 51 and still don't have the answer. Being happy as an answer never really cut the mustard at my school. Also secretly I wish George Michael picked me in my Choose Life t-shirt & fluro pink sox. So back to breathing. Yoga saved my life. When I finally cottoned on that majority of any yoga practice requires control of the breath or Prana (aka life force). I was well into my first teacher training, having figured out that constantly showing up on my rubber rectangle had fundamentally changed how I functioned in the world, that is to say I had dissolved my depression and anxiety no longer weighed down like a concrete boots. I had freedom from those two I was like "why has no one mentioned this to me before"??? Teachers had said inhale exhale(a lot ) but never given me the skinny on the breath sitchuasi. Our breath, keeps us in our little lives and we barely give it a second thought. Five years down the track and breathwork is a buzz word. After exploring breath work reading and researching alongside participating in workshops online & live sessions and facilitator training I am a Certified Breathwork Coach adding that to my coaching kit of expertise. I still marvel at the amount of information that I can take on each & every day and how inspired I am to share these practices & learnings. Perhaps this is what I should have been studying at school? When they weren't trying to detain, suspend or expel me. I love the Psoas muscles its often referred to as the fight or flight muscle, I love the Vegas nerve more. The Vagus nerve named so because it comes form the Latin word meaning "wandering" So the vagus literally the wandering nerve! Vagus makes its way from our brains to our gut and back again via the abdomen, heart & lungs, our Vagus nerve is heavily involved in our parasympathetic nervous system getting us out of flight or fight, it brings us off high alert decreasing our blood pressure and heart rate, calming us TF down, helping us relax and digest our food. As a result, the vagus nerve also helps with defecation, urination, and sexual arousal. Breathing more goodly means better orgasms??? Count. Me. In. Its a pretty simple get, the vagus nerve communicates with the diaphragm. With deep breaths, you feel more relaxed. Simples. Amen, Hallejulia, Thank Fuck, Watch talkin bout Willis? How come no one mentioned this to me before? I mean I have been consistently anxious since I was about 11, if I dive deeper my anxiety goes back to about 7 years old. Breathing school would have been super helpful but I guess my anxiety predated the acceptance of breathing as a self assist tool. This is where I challenge the all the "ists" I went to see therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and fortune tellerists. Why didn't they give me breathing techniques to help me relieve my anxiety? The key takeaway of that sentence being me doing it for myself. Why don't the "ists" introduce us to the vagus and controlling our breath why don't yoga teachers/ classes dive deeper into the pranayama or breath control during asana practice?. My cynical side says the hourly rate & medicare rebate are two really good reasons, an "ist" has got to eat too. On the yoga front its that asana is sexier, easier and more visible to teach than breathing. Plus we really love an expensive solution, in the late 90's to the early 20's having therapist was a badge of honour, If you had a high paying, high pressure job, a Louis Vuitton handbag and a therapist your had made it. Mum would always tell me to "take 3 deep breaths", which would usually result in me telling her to eff off under my breath. My daughter says "Mum Calm your tits", which makes us stop what ever we are doing and laugh our leggings off (her leggings are "potential to be active wear" mine are "has been active today, needs a wash wear") Both helpful tips but I probably needed something a little more detailed than that, as does a vast majority of the earths population that constantly live in a state of fight or flight, stress, anxiety and overwhelm. My daughter and I swap breathing techniques and talk about how they have helped us, I don't want her to live with the anxiety that I had.
There are so many techniques that are so simple to integrate into our daily lives. I have a masterclass on breathing through stress & anxiety you can access that class and the accompanying slides for free via these links. There are 15 different breath techniques and I encourage you to screen shot the ones that resonate with you and make friends with them. Masterclass Breathing Through Stress & Anxiety Masterclass slides Today I breathe consciously, I check in with my breath regularly through out the day, about every hour. That check in has become so habitual that I have completely altered my breathing. I breathe myself to sleep, that is I use breathing patterns as opposed to counting sheep or ruminating on something pointless & frustrating. I am conscious of my breathing at night and am considering mouth taping to change my sleep breathing. Its really a thing, you literally tape your mouth shut, I know tat there are people that are excited by this, I talk a lot. My hope is that I can share these techniques so that no one has to suffer through stress, anxiety and overwhelm even depression the way that I did or for as long. If you want to know more feel free to hit me up with a DM via Instagram or Facebook Messenger or email. You can join my group Yoga for Stress, Anxiety & Overwhelm I post daily tips tricks techniques & led practices. I also work one on one with women who are ready to completely kick stress & anxiety to the kurb and create a life of joy & happiness. If that sounds like you hit me up. Your breath is your super power Effortless yet powerful. I invite you to take a a minute and check in with your breath, close your eyes. Follow the journey of your breath in through the nose down the back of the throat into the lungs & maybe even the belly. Again follow the breath journey out of the body. do this a few times Where do you feel your breath going? Try it again see if you can slow it down, see how that makes you feel do you notice any change? Yoga is just you and your breath lets breath together, lets move together, lets meditate too xxxkit