Tag: breathing

Breathe 478: A Simple 60day challenge

Breathe 478: A Simple 60day challenge

A healthy forest is not grown overnight

A Magic Bullet?

What if there was a simple daily practice that took only a couple of minutes to complete and could transform your nervous/emotional health and improve your sleep quality with no side effects? Sounds too good to be true? Well, I came across this claim nearly a year ago and tried it for few days in a row, but stopped it as I did not notice anything special. The thing is like almost any practice it is not a magic bullet. I came across it again recently, but this time it came with the instruction that one needed to practice it twice a day for two whole months before one could feel noticeably better. I am still skeptical, but ready to give it a go to see if it works for me and welcome you to join me in this challenge. What have we too loose?

The ‘478’ Practice

Breathe 478 is a very simple breathing exercise that is best performed first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It takes less than 2mins to complete usually feel relaxing. With your tongue on the top of the pallet, inhale for a count of four through the nose, hold for a count of seven and exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat four times, then breathe normally. This exercise is best done first thing in the morning and last thing before going to sleep. After a month of doing it daily, increase the repetitions from four to eight times.

The Benefits

478 is a traditional yoga breathing exercise that has been made popular by Dr. Andrew Weill who claims to have had a lot of his patient benefit from the sustain

The Challenge

With your tongue on the top of the pallet, inhale for a count of four through the nose, hold for a count of seven and exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat four times, then breathe normally. This exercise is best done first thing in the morning and last thing before going to sleep. After a month of doing it daily, increase the repetitions from four to eight times.

What have we got to loose?

To be precise: 160 minutes that’s an average of plus the burden of remembering to practice. IKeeping it simple but practicing regularly could well be the key to making long-lasting effective changes. It requires patience, dedication and paradoxically very little time. Let me invite you to Almost all of us do not breathe optimally. In other words we have acquired poor breathing habits and this is affecting our health, performance and well being.

Be the breath

Be the breath

The first act of mindfulness is breathing and unfortunately, most of us lose it at a very young age. As adults, we breathe but usually poorly. So, I invite you to start a learning journey towards skilful breathing once again. There are many exercises that you can learn, but as always it is good to start small and simple. Here is one to begin with:

Sit with your back straight and gently seal your lips. Start to notice your breath. Is it full? Are you using every part of your lungs? Is your tummy moving? Breath smoothly, soundlessly and without pause between the inhalation and exhalation.

Exhale for 6 seconds and inhale for just 3 seconds.

Keep breathing and, if you wish, add a little visualisation. Imagine that with every out breath a little parcel of negativity escapes your body. Let go of muscle tension, mental boundaries, emotional limitations, and release whatever is holding you back.

Continue for about 3 minutes, then gently stretch before getting up.

Go on, do it now… you have nothing to loose.

Breathing is something most of us take for granted, yet our breath is much more than getting oxygen to our blood. It shapes how we are. There are countless moments during the day when we get stressed, irritated or tired. Stopping for three minutes and focusing on breathing is a great way to become more conscious of what is happening. The more we do it the more natural it becomes.

Be the breath and your awareness will expand.

Breathfully

Photo: Anton Repponen