Are you looking for ways to keep yourself looking and feeling young?
Start now, by using your very own built-in stress regulator, your lungs! Breathwork is just one technique that can help you to relax, look refreshed, and even to perform like a champion. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have long touted the benefits of breathwork. Yogis devote their entire lives to pranic practice. Thanks to researchers like Dr. Andrew Weil, we’re learning more about how and why it works. Dr. Weil’s audiobook: “Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing” is a great starting point for how to harness the benefits of breathing.
Read on to find out how breathwork can beat stress and help you live younger for longer!
Have you ever had a moment when you were totally stressed out, and someone told you to stop and take a deep breath? They were making a good point! Your lungs are directly jacked into your brain via your vagus nerve. This intimate union of mind and breath is the key to controlling the excitatory effects of stress. When you encounter stress, your body responds by releasing huge doses of powerful hormones. Your pupils dilate, blood vessels constrict, muscles tighten, and breathing becomes shallow and rapid. This change in breathing increases carbon dioxide levels in your blood, which can lead to states of anxiety. It’s scary,but true, that many of us spend a huge part of our waking hours in this highly aroused state. Learning to control your breathing will help you end the vicious cycle of stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Here’s how to begin your practice of breathwork. Begin by doing ten breaths in and out like this. Then, set aside ten minutes a day to spend some time listening, letting go, and relaxing through the process of breathing.
- Sit up tall with a neutral spine.
- Keep your shoulders back and down.
- Leave your eyes closed or open, whichever feels most natural to you.
- Inhale through your nose, for a count of four. Let your breath sink into the abdomen, not just the chest.
- Then, exhale through your mouth for a count of four.
- Pause at the end of the breath and then repeat.
- Breathe slowly and deeply.
- Download this track and breathe with it. Let it guide you deeper into relaxation.
Stress ages you from a cellular level, right on up to the wrinkles on your face. It also slows you down physically and depletes your focus, which in turn make your workouts less effective and even leads to injury. By adding this simple process of breathwork to your day, you will give your mind and body the opportunity to decompress and recharge. Don’t let stress mess with your performance!
Inhale, exhale, and Fight Fine Lines!Jason Agnello Certified Personal Trainer Equinox Fitness Clubs NYC Agnello@me.com re-posted from FitFineLines.com
photo credit: istockphoto.com