Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Breathing for Beginners

"Breathing for beginners? But I've been breathing my whole life!" Yes, but possibly like most humans, you haven't been breathing optimally. One of the most powerful and simplest ways to gain mastery of the mind in any situation is the control of breath.

Think of someone who takes a deep breath. What do you visualise? Eyes go wide and the lifting of the shoulders and chest? Not the way to go. Try this yourself, lift your shoulders and chest and take a deep breath in. It doesn't feel too comfortable at all does it?

Think of when you concentrate, do you hold your breath while concentrating or tackling something? I bet if you do, you might also lose your patience quite quickly.

Think of a pessimist you know, a complainer. What do they often do? They sigh in all sorts of ways, a lot.

So let's try something different. Breathe through the nose, from the abdominal area, the belly. When breathing, do it slow, relaxed, easy and tuck out the belly while doing it. You can put your hand on your belly the first times. (You can go a step further for a really deep breath and fill up the chest after the belly too).
Hold it in for a second or two as is comfortable, and while breathing out tuck the belly back in again (and chest after the belly too if you used the chest while inhaling). Pause and repeat. Deep, relaxed, easy, not audible. Do this for a while and it's easy relaxation. While you exhale and let go of the breath, you can add your worries to it and let go of them to.

You can feel how the breath intake dramatically increases, which cleanses the nervous system (who came up with that name!) bringing in fresh energy, and the exhalation gets rid of a lot of stagnant energy. So when concentrating, breathe like this, slow and easy. And you'll have a reserve of patience and composure. Instead of sighing, take a deep breath, and calming down will be much easier. Conscious breathing is being here now, and helps "avoid the droid". The automatic reactions when stressed. Dedroidify 101: conscious deep relaxed breathing from the belly as much as possible. It's also a major part of most meditation practices.

For the ladies who are (too) self-conscious, the belly coming out is barely noticeable, first of all the male eye is focused on other body parts ;p When you're standing up (or doing a presentation for instance) you are facing people so that's hardly noticeable. (They are not seeing you from the side.) Sitting down (at a table for instance) it's nearly invisible.

I tell this to everyone it may help, so about time I posted it here too.
"One conscious breath, taken many times a day, is an excellent way of bringing space into your life."
Eckhart Tolle

"If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. From my own experience and from working with patients, I have come to believe that proper breathing is the master key to good health."
Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine


tommy said...

Since I use this breathing technique to meditate, doing it while up and active gives me a nice warm sensation in my solar plexus and enhances my lucidity. Great article.

I'm currently going through the 6 (!) install discs for UT2004. I'll email ya when things are up and running, probably later tonight or tomorrow.

dedroidify said...

Thanks Tommy, and looking forward to fragging you!

James Ratte said...

oh, you guys have good computers, I'm jealous, mine barely runs minesweeper

I play XboX, double crooss B.O.

like Halo, Civ Rev,or Call of Duty
not as good I know, if you guys are ever on my gamertag is


Breathing through your nose also warms up the air you inhale. Cross Country runners do it in the cold, we were told to breathe out our mouths. I don't know if that helps.

dedroidify said...

Don't have an X-Box!

There are many breathing exercises and many variations. My focus here was on keeping it simple and being able to use it anywhere.

Btw, I'm awaiting a reply of yours in my mailbox James ;p.

ViølatoR said...

Thanks for this reminder on breathing. Reminds me of an old blond joke. A blond goes to get her hair cut, and is wearing headphones. The stylist askes her to remove the headphones but she refuses so the stylist cuts the hair as best as he can. But after a while he gets frustrated at not being able to do a good job so he demands the blond girl take off her headphones. She does and he continues to cut the hair. A few minutes go by and he realizes the blond girl has died sitting there. He picks up the headphones and puts them to his ear and hears: "Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out..."

dedroidify said...


Karen said...

Good advice.

I just took a few conscious breaths then and it was very nice indeed. So many people spend their life beathing unconscious little shallow breaths, I do that too,... so I need to notice my breath more.

I really like that image there of the painting - a really nice visualisation of breathing.

- Karen.

p.s: I found your blog after stumbling across your page of video links. There's some awesome stuff on there and I've spent quite a while going through them!

dedroidify said...

Hey Karen,

thanks for the kind words! If you click the pic it will take you to the artist's website. Loved the pic too.

ps: Japan ftw ;p