Did you know that only breathing IN requires effort?
Breathing out is simply a release.
How it works:
Breathing in, the diaphragm contracts, pulling down into the belly, creating a vacuüm in the lungs which are thereby filled with air…
Breathing out: full release. Diaphragm relaxes and automatically moves back up, air flowing out effortlessly.
This is your natural breath. Try it:
1. Breathe in……. let go
2. Breathe in……. let go
3. Breathe in……. let go
How did that go?
You may well find that your ‘letting go’ is not so effortless at all. If so, you are probably (medical issues aside) unneccessarily restricting your outbreath somewhere in your body. Why? Because of stored stress and tension: the physical manifestation of unhelpful thoughts and feelings.
Places we often notice people holding their breath include the belly, solar plexus, chest, shoulders, throat and lips. When we start to explore, we may find that some of these areas correspond to certain personal issues. One example:
Nicole was struggling during her breath session. She was holding back the flow of breath in her throat and couldn’t find a rhythm. Her breathing became unbalanced and she started to cramp up. Noticing the tension in her throat, I then affirmed to her: it’s ok to express myself (in affirmations, we speak from the first person). Instantly, she started to cry. And then she released. Big sighs of relief she was breathing and what followed was an effortless, strong, rhythmic conscious connected breath in a soft, wide open throat. Beautiful.
She later shared that it was the experience of finally allowing herself to let go that had the most impact for her. You see, it all starts with a sigh.
Becoming aware of your outbreath you may find yourself sighing all day, like me when I started breathwork. That’s ok, in fact it’s perfect. That’s your body releasing unnecessary tension. You will feel happier and healthier because of it!
Start with a sigh.