Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of better breathing and the influence it has on our body, mind and general wellbeing. In tantra practices, we engage our breath more fully. This enables us to have a full direct experience involving our bodies, emotions and sensations.
Firstly, take a moment now and bring your awareness to your own breathing. Locate where your breath is going to. Is it the throat, lower abdomen or somewhere in between, such as the chest or top of abdomen? Now focus on what it feels like. Is it quick, expansive, shallow, deep, flowing, irregular, smooth? Can you feel sensations in your nostrils or back of your throat? Is your belly rising or does your ribcage feel wider?
Most of us have forgotten how to breathe fully. As babies, our breath was flowing, deep and full. As we get older, it can tend to become very shallow, sometime inhaling just to the throat. Stressful lifestyles and difficulty in creating balance within our lives are some of the common factors of this reduced breath.
5 Benefits to Better Breathing
Being Present – How many times with a loved one, or perhaps out walking in nature, have we found ourselves distracted in our busy mind with thoughts. We are taken away from the sights, sounds, colours and smells that surround us. By bringing awareness to our breath, this vital power and flowing source, brings us into, and helps us rest in, the pleasure of the present moment.
Relaxation in the Body – Deepening and slowing your breath are very simple and powerful ways for immediate stress relief. Better breathing also encourages a relaxation in the body. It slows down the heart rate and blood pressure and helps regulate the nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Authentic Expression – Try observing your breath in a very simple way. Notice each inhale, followed by the exhale. Is there a pause in between or is it a continuous circle? Paying more attention to the breath, quietens the mind. If we are experiencing underlying emotions or inner conflict, which may be clouding what we truly feel, the breath will support us to feel into our truth. It will bring clarity, focus, and enable us to express our desires, needs and fears, in a more authentic way.
A Feeling of Aliveness – We feel like this in moments of joy and excitement, but what about times when we feel flat or disconnected from our body and experiences? Expanding and deepening our breath, we take in more life force energy. There becomes a sweet intimacy with this connection as we feel it flow through us. This generates, builds and permeates every cell in our body until gradually, we can tap into the inner aliveness whenever we choose.
Body Awareness – The body may be holding uncomfortable experiences, stories or trauma. We may not always be aware of it but this can manifest through the body in ways such as physical or emotional tensions, habitual responses to situations or feelings of being blocked or numb. An example might be, that we find it difficult to fully let go and to allow pleasure in the body. Using the breath helps us become more connected to our body and our sexual energy. As we become more attuned, we begin to feel more. The sensations may be quite subtle, almost like a whisper, or powerful and intense. The more we engage the breath, the more these sensations are amplified. We can learn how to cultivate and spread sexual energy through the whole body, bringing with it a more fully embodied experience.
There are of course, many more benefits of better breathing and as well as thinking of it in terms of a practice that can be improved, it’s exciting to realise that the breath can bring healing and significant transformations! We both offer breath practices in our sessions if you feel that you need a little support to start or would like to explore this more.