• Emily Mulan Mua

Take A Breath

Updated: May 16, 2020

"When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire."
A quote from an 11-year-olds science exam

At the moment things are rather tough across the world and I think it is safe to say a few of use have taken quite a battering in the happiness stakes at the moment. Through the difficulties and the restrictions currently upon us all COVID has forced us to all slow down. This has given me time to read, explore and learn new things. Something I would like to share with you all is the power of breathing and how I have found this to help me get my happy back during such dispair and darkness.

Breathing is powerful, keeps us alive and is a major factor influencing our state of mind (if you uncertain about this, hold your breath for two minutes & re-read this sentence lol) This being the case, please use your common sense when doing any of these exercises (if you have a respiratory condition, please check with your health advisor first)

I recently read a book by Osho, the wonderfully non-PC mystic and guru. In the book, Osho instructed the reader to pay attention to their breathing rate when they were sad, and notice the timing of the in-breath and out-breath. He explained that next time they were happy, they could re-induce the sad state by merely repeating the breathing pattern. Fortunately, he added, it works the other way round too! Think i've gone crackers due to being in isolation ? Follow some or all of these exercises and see if they work for you. Firstly; When you are experiencing a powerful, positive state, for example after that Friday night zoom pub quiz with your friends, allow yourself to become aware of your breathing rate. Pay particular attention to the timing and rhythm of your in and out-breaths. Next time you are feeling a bit low try and replicate the breathing rate from when you were feeling positive and happy. Honestly keep going and within a minute or so, the positive vibes should start to flow. This is also great because it reminds you of the happy times and brings them to the fore front of your mind.

Another great breathing technique when you are feeling anxious or just want to slow down and find some peace in between the chaos of homeschooling, constant housework that lasts 5 minutes whilst working from home and trying to look presentable for that bloody video conference is to utilise the art of Yogic breathing which is called Pranayama. Pranayama offers many different approaches for cleansing the mind & body through breathing exercises. This one is my favourite:

Start breathing comfortably but deeply, in through your nose & out through your mouth. Imagine that you are breathing from that area of your abdomen just beneath your belly button. Make the in-breath last to a count of 5 and the out-breath to a count of 6. Continue for at least 2 minutes, and notice what happens. This 5:6 ratio seems to be a simple yet powerful way you can induce a relaxed state at will. Many gurus advise people to do breathing exercises regularly. Tony Robbins recommends this in his wonderful book Unlimited Power. He advises that you start each day with a breathing exercise of inhaling slowly and deeply, then holding it for twice as long as the inhalation and exhaling in twice as fast. It really is invigorating and a great way to get motivated at the start of the day, especially if you are looking to do some thing with your day that requires motivation. Without routine and purpose at the moment I am doing this most mornings to give me a burst of motivation to get up and crack on with the day otherwise to be honest I would just be watching Netflix and eating Magnums.

The last breathing technique I am going to share is called the breath of fire. It typically results in a state of .... hmm actually I will leave that one with you to find out for yourself! Now i'm honestly not pulling your leg, bare with me I know it seems wild and is probably best done when you are alone and well away from your web cam that you may have of forgotten to turn off as it may be tricky to explain lol. So, you lie on your back & pant like a dog, breathing rapidly in & out through your mouth 20 times. Then, breathe slowly, deeply and gently in and out 20 times through your nose. Once again, do the mouth-panting 20 times, then resume gentle nose-breathing. Notice what happens. Please remember that most people don't breathe nearly enough and deep breathing is directly linked to our state of mind and physiological responses. Start to breathe more deeply and notice how much better you feel. Have lots of fun with this and share with your friends - Maybe do a group session over video chat and reap the benefits together and lets all have a little more happy in our day!

Hope you have found this interesting and give it a whirl yourself - who knows you may end up loving it as much as I do, or at the very least it will give you something new to do,

Stay Safe & Lots of Love,

Emily xxx

PS: As always please excuse my spelling and grammar, I'm a makeup artist not an author- I specialise in colour and blending and clearly not commas and brevity.

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