• Natalie Shuler L.Ac, MSOM www.yinyangwisdom.com

Breathing - class 2

Our Breath:

Breath not only gives us life, it

defines how we are

perceiving our lives in any given moment

What to bring to class: Your meditation mat or a pillow that can be sat on.

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still - Svatmarama

When breathing deeply we offer ourselves empowerment. No one can give another empowerment; empowerment can only be gifted through your own breath.

Making conscious breathing a natural part of day to day life offers personal empowerment, mental and emotional clarity, central nervous system regulation.

Controlling our breath allows us to both get more energy when we need it or calm our systems when we need it.

Breath, what does it do?

  • Breathing can both increase and decrease heart rate

  • Our state of emotion can be changed by using breath

  • Breathing decreases pain

  • Breathing creates flow in the body

  • Regulates the Autonomic nervous system

  • Creates a sensation of pleasantness

Breathing dissipates and disrupts draining emotions rather than suppressing them

  • We can use breath as a way to change how we are experiencing any given moment

How to breath

Belly breathing:

The most important form of breathing to learn first is Belly Breathing.

Breath is life; when we start out in life we breath the way we should, deeply and into the belly. It’s through time and experience we lose the correct methods of breathing without ever even realizing it.

To practice belly breathing, lay down on your back place a book on you belly and breath deeply. The book should be going up with the belly on the inhale and back down on the exhale.

It’s important to make conscious breathing a natural part of day to day life. We do conscious breathing when we visualize the flow of breath or by connecting breath to how we are feeling.

By connecting our breath with positive emotional recollection we can change neurons in the brain; thereby eradicating any negative imprinted emotions, attitudes and behaviors and building a new neural network.

Dan Tian Breathing

Dan Tian Breathing is a fundamental Qigong technique where, not surprisingly, you breath energy with dan tian. Whereas Belly Breathing is mechanical, Dan Tian Breathing is energetic. The difference may seem minor, but it’s not. It’s the difference between tapping into a flow of Cosmic energy, or just standing around and breathing for however many minutes.

Dan Tian Breathing Technique:

  1. Stand Upright.

  2. Relax.

  3. Smile from the Heart.

  4. Clear your mind of thoughts.

  5. Gently place both palms over your dan tian, one on top of the other.

  6. As you breathe out gently through the mouth, gently press the palms and help the belly to “deflate”.

  7. Gently visualize letting go of negative energy, stress, tension, etc.

  8. As you breathe in gently through the nose, gently release the palms and help the belly to “inflate”.

  9. Gently visualize taking in fresh cosmic energy from all directions toward dan tian.

Tips for teaching breathing to kids:

Depending on the age, it may be hard to teach your child just to take deep breaths. Start by teaching him/her to breath into the count of three and exhale to a count of three. This number can be slowly increase to a 5 second inhale and exhale.

With smaller children or kids that need an extra visualization it may be hard to just get them to sit and take deep breaths. If you can’t get them to breath can you get them to make sounds or sing parts of there favorite songs.

Breath Exercises for younger kids:

While exhaling, start by having them make the “shhh” sound while placing there hands over their heart. While breathing out you can start with a 3 second exhale and slowly work up to the 5 second exhale.

While sitting on the Mindful Mat have your child imagine the following things on the inhale and exhaling with the sounds:

Cuddling your doll or favorite stuffed animal — Mmmmmm

Petting a puppy — Aawwwww Relaxing in a hot bath — Ahhhhhhhh Giving a big bear hug —Ooooooohh

Getting tickled — Teeeeheeee

Eating ice cream — Yummmmm

Swinging on a swing — Weeeeeeee

Playing in the park — Yessssssss

Winning a game — Yaaayyyyyy

Note: Breathing exercises don’t need to take a long time. And you don’t have to go through this entire list of sounds all at once. Maybe pick one at a random time. For example maybe the next time you give a big hug you can initiate the Oooooohh sounds and then have them do it with you. you can make a quick hugging game out of it.