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Yogic Breath Work

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Box breathing is a form of yogic deep breathing. It's been used yogis for years, by the United States Navy Seals and by stressed out people all over the globe. It’s also known as sama vritti pranayama, born of the yogic practice of pranayama or focusing on the breath. 

This simple to learn breathwork is renowned for its healing benefits such as lowering blood pressure, cortisol, calming the mind, relaxation, stress lowering power. Breathwork Activates the parasympathetic nervous systemIn stressful times, your sympathetic nervous system goes into high alert. Box breathing can help you move out of that high alert state by tapping into the parasympathetic which is the bodily system responsible for rest and digestion nervous system.

The parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as a state of fight or flight.

When we’re depressed, stressed out, overwhelmed or anxious we breathe shallowly and quickly, which actually creates more stress and anxiety within your body.

How to do box breathing

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to master the box breathing method right away. “You don’t want to go too slowly or too quickly,” Stay at your own comfort level, making sure you’re breathing very gently and not straining yourself.Breathe out slowly, releasing all the air from your lungs.Breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to four in your head. Be conscious of how the air fills your lungs and stomach.Hold your breath for a count of four.Exhale for another count of four.Hold your breath again for a count of four. Repeat for three to four rounds. Box breathing’s so straight forward it makes it so accessible and so impactful.

Box breathing’s simplicity is its greatest strength,  This is just very simple breathing and counting.”I recommend you practice one to two times a day, regardless of how you’re feeling. Try it out first thing in the morning after a stressful day of work or before going bed.Keep practicingAt first, you may have a hard time keeping your breath steady for all those counts of four. But as with anything, you can get better at it with a little bit of practice. Over time your practice will be much easier, and you’ll be able to extend that count to four more easily and slow your breathing down for even more benefit. 

Working on your box breathing in times of calm can help you harness it as a tool and anchor in times of anxiety, even going so far as to lessen your body’s overall response to stress.

The nervous system is not fixed rigid it’s moveable. We can change it by learning how to be less responsive to stress and how to calm it in that response using these easy to master techniques.

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