The world we live in definitely raises our stress levels causing many of us to feel tense and anxious a lot of the time. This results in a lack of clarity in the mind and a feeling of not being present in our bodies.
There have been times in my life when I have been so stressed, I was not even be able to take in a conversation when someone was talking to me. I want to share a technique that has really helped me to feel more present in my body and more focused in my mind. This is a technique that I teach at the beginning of every yoga class and incorporate into my daily yoga practice.
The practice is called 6 second breathing. It’s very simple. When you breath in you should feel a slight engagement in the lower belly causing your breath to move up into your chest. You should feel the breath moving into your chest in 4 directions. To the front, to the back and to both sides. As you inhale you allow the breath to move up and fill your collar bones, so that the breath is almost massaging the back of the neck. It can be quite useful to keep the phrase ‘inner body bright’ in the back of your mind.
As you exhale you allow all the breath to leave the body, emptying the chest completely. Each time you inhale you breath in for 6 seconds and then exhale slowly for 6 seconds. Try breathing in and out 5 times using this technique and then take a break and go back to breathing naturally. Next, try the technique 10 times in a row. As you become more in tune with the practice you can start to find the perfect number of breathes that works for you.
This practice has been found to have amazing effects on the neurological systems and has been proven to be really effective as preventive medicine. The fact that something so simple has such a profound effect on the health of the body and mind can empower us in knowing that we can easily make a change to the state of our physical and mental health.
I hope that you find 6 second breathing helpful and that it can make a positive change to your life and health!