More than food, shelter and even water, breathing is the one thing we can’t live without. Yet it seems many of us are performing this essential activity in a less-than-optimal way according to the Australian Breathwork Association.
“If you have got a deadline coming up, I bet you’re shallow-breathing” say Ann Harrison from ABA. This isn’t just a bad habit – it can have a major impact on your body and performance. “When you’re shallow breathing, your blood isn’t getting enough oxygen so the brain isn’t functioning as clearly as it could”. Not ideal.
The Answer ? Conscious breathing, also known as Breathwork, which returns our breathe to a more balanced state. It helps restore balance to the parasympathetic ( digestive ) and Sympathetic ( fight or flight ) nervous system.
Ann explains breathwork has two elements, gaining awareness of your breathe, and using breathing techniques to become more present. Take note when you are stressed or even in an emotional state and how your breathing feels. Now count to six. Ann suggests following a six to six ration (that’s inhaling for six seconds then exhaling for six seconds).
The beauty of breathwork is that it can be done anywhere,. You can dedicate a specific time to practice or simply incorporate into your day.