It’s no secret that I find breath work to be absolutely fascinating.  I use it with my clients, I experiment with myself and I’ve used it to better connect with my family. 

On average we take about 23,040 breaths per day.  That’s 16 breaths per minute or 960 breaths an hour.  When we think about how actions become learned behaviors, they are born out of repetition. So if we are breathing 23,040 times per day and we are doing this unconsciously, it would be particularly advantageous to make sure that we are doing this properly. 

Most people have roughly 3 minutes without air before it’s all over.  So it goes without saying that the most obvious effect of breathing is that it keeps us alive.  A quick Google search on this topic gave me the rule of threes.  We can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.  Don’t take that as gospel though, as I personally know people who have gone longer than this without water (it didn’t end well) and have heard stories of many who have pushed themselves in a fasted state far beyond 3 weeks.  But the importance of proper breathing cannot be ignored and inside your own body, it surely is not.  In fact, your body will do just about anything it can to make sure that you get that breath in, even if it means that it has to compensate somewhere else.

Say you broke your nose and now one of your nasal cavities is blocked.  Your body will twist and contort itself to make sure that breath gets in one way or the other, which can lead to pain anywhere up or down the spine.  Or say you’ve forgotten how to use your diaphragm properly and instead you use your neck muscles and upper chest to breathe.  Not only can this cause headaches, brain fog and physical pain or tension throughout the body but physiologically it send a message that says “I’m stressed” or “I am anxious”.  Think about it; what happens when you get frazzled, worked up or defeated?  Your breathing changes.  Your breathing might become constricted, more rapid or very shallow.  Your breathing changes in response to your emotions and perceptions.  On the same chain of thought, when you are in a state of calm, your breathing changes; it slows, gets drawn deeper into the lungs and requires less energy and effort. 

This cause and effect works both ways.  The way that we breath will also affect our emotions and perceptions.  Quite often I see people who don’t know how to use their diaphragms when they breathe.  These very same people more often than not are seeing me because they want to change their lives but they don't know where to start and have become stuck in a fear based lifestyle making decisions from a place of scarcity, competition and anxiety.  They are quite literally stuck, as are their diaphragms; rigid, painful and holding on tight. 

I notice this in myself also.  I'm no angel and unfortunately there are times when I don't channel my anger in the healthiest of ways.  But looking back on these times I can see something repetitious.  It happens when I'm not breathing.  When I think back to the times when anger has gotten the better of me, I can feel it tight in my chest as if I'm holding onto my breath.  A lot of healing happens purely through breath work and anyone can do it with guidance and conscious awareness.

With many people, I find focused breath work to be particularly advantageous.  You can have the cleanest diet in the world, workout every day of the weak, have an amazing business and family but if you don’t know how to breathe properly, there are certain potentials that you won't be able to achieve.  Fortunately, anyone can change and there a multitude of ways to do it.  In my practice I teach breath work techniques which help calm the nervous system, create space for the vascular system and organs and bring clarity and focus to the mind leading to a healthier individual with more light and vibrancy to shine on the world.

I will forever be studying these things and will never reach a point that I know everything and it is with this curious mind that I often stumble upon an unfamiliar human who inspires me to go deeper.  Today that human is Guillaume Néry and through his TED Talk: The exhilarating peace of free-diving, I felt motivated to share with you the power you have inside of yourself to make real positive change.  Check him out above and if you want to learn more, send me a message and let's set up a session.

Nick VoroshineComment