We’ve talked a great deal about the importance and usefulness of meditation to overall well being. Often when attempting to convince our participants to spend some amount of time in mediation each day, we’ll suggest beginning with some simple breathwork. The well known 4-7-8 sequence is a great one, for example. This can be done almost anywhere! Just breathe in through the nose for a count of 4, hold that breath in for a count of 7, then release the breath through the mouth for a count of 8 – then repeat that a few times. That’s a super simple version of breathwork; there are myriad breathing exercises out there, and they are designed for different humans with various purposes in mind. You’ve probably noticed that even in your adjustments you’re asked to breathe in a certain way – deep into the fill-in-the.blank.
The big question is – why the hullabaloo over breathing, when we do that unconsciously all day long? First, and probably most obviously, in our daily lives we create habits with our breathing that restrict airflow. Habits emerging from the amount of time we spend and the positions in which we sit or sleep, or how we respond to stress or injury. Aside from the physical changes that can come about from less than ideal airflow, purposeful breath like the 4-7-8 technique described above, are connected to the function of the nervous system, which runs the electrical grid of your being. Sometimes, some rewiring of the electrical system is required for healing and regeneration! The amount of information on this topic is overwhelming, and we wanted to help you get a broader education on breathing through some great resources. First, there’s the popular book by James Nestor, Breath, here’s a great interview with him on the book- check it out. Next, Andrew Humberman, PhD, of the podcast Huberman Lab had an in depth conversation with Dr. Jack Feldman on this topic here. Or learn all kinds of methods and techniques from the famous Wim Hof here.
Whether you think you have time to meditate or not, you definitely have time to bring focus to your breath at some point during any given day. Take some time to learn what types of breathing can help you navigate your world, then throw a little bit of breathwork into your life and see how it makes you feel!