This Simple Breath Will Change Your Life

If you can learn just one technique to completely change your life, it is Long Deep Breathing. It may seem overly-simple after all, we all know how to take a deep breath, right?  Well, maybe not…

Many of us actually reverse-breath and do not know how to take a deep breath properly, in a way that utilizes the full potential of the lungs and all the benefits of greater oxygen flow in the body.

In Kundalini Yoga (the Yoga of Awareness), there is a specific way to breath that utilizes the full capacity of the lungs and captures all of these benefits.  It’s called yogic Long Deep Breathing, and here’s how it works:

  • Sit with a tall straight spine.  Roll the shoulders up to the ears, then back and down, so you feel an openness across the upper chest.  Rest the hands on the knees or thighs.

  • Tuck the chin down into “Neck Lock”, by bringing the the chin down and back, so that the chin is level with the ground and you feel an openness in the back of the neck

  • Breath into the belly, expand out it in all directions like a balloon, dropping down the diaphragm

  • Only once the belly is full of air, inhale into the chest, allowing the ribcage to expand and lift up.

  • Only once the chest is full of air, breath even higher into the calvical, that area of the lungs just below the collar bone.

  • Begin your exhale by relaxing the clavicle first, then the chest, and completing the exhale by bringing the belly in towards the spine and lifting up on the diaphragm to empty the lungs entirely.

  • Repeat, each time making the breath deeper and slower.  Start with about 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out.  Built up to 20 seconds in, 20 seconds hold, 20 seconds out.

This is what happens in the body as a result:

  • The lungs stretch out and all of the alveoli and parts of the lungs that don’t normally get used much in shallow autonomic breathing

  • More oxygen is sent to the blood, and into the brain

  • The brain cells sense more oxygen and begin to work even better, making you feel more clear, calm and focused

  • The brain tells the heart it doesn’t need to work as hard to send oxygen to the cells and organs of the body, so the heart rate decreases, also lowering blood pressure

  • Lower heart rate tells the adrenals to relax, taking you out of stress response.

  • Triggering the parasympathetic nervous system, helping your digestion and feeling relaxed.

  • As you consciously breath, you begin to train your brain to be more present.  This means you’ll be less impulsive, less reactive and generally more fulfilled, grateful and content with your life.

All this from consciously simply slowing down and deepening the breath!

Yogi Bhajan (master of Kundalini Yoga) says:

If you are poor, inhale, hold the breath, and tell the breath to bring you prosperity. If you are unhappy, inhale, hold the breath, and tell it to bring you happiness. Whenever you need your prayer to be answered, breathe like this and ask the breath of life to communicate with the Creator of the breath of life to give you everything.

You will be shocked how well you can communicate with God just through the breath of life. What can give you life, can give you everything. The link between you and God is through the breath of life.