The Joy of the Breath

by | Dec 4, 2019 | Body, Mind

The first act in this world we do is breathe and the last act is breathing.

We breathe everyday but are we breathing properly? Harvard health states that when we don’t do deep breathing from the abdomen and instead do only shallow breaths our lowest portion of the lungs do not receive the full share of oxygenated air. This can lead to shortness of breath, anxiety, and allow toxins to become stagnate in the body.

Shallow breathing, breathing through the mouth, or improper breathing patterns can lead to more tension and stress in the body. Oxygen is the key fuel that runs our body and without it we are making our cells, tissues, and systems starve, which can cause the sympathetic system to come on overdrive. When the sympathetic system is on for too long, the energy into the flight and fight response takes away from normal functioning of the brain, nervous system and the digestive system. All this can lead to chronic disease and illness.

The autonomic nervous system plays a key role in taking us back into rest and relaxation, especially after this flight and fight response. This system governs our digestive system, heart rate, and other automatic functions in our body. These functions being automatic cannot be changed consciously, but with one exception, the breath. Slowing down the breath actually directly influences the autonomic nervous system, specifically the parasympathetic system. So when stress and fear is triggered, we are able to manage the stress through our breath. Isn’t that a breath of relief?

A simple practice we can try is the three part yogic breathing:

1. Sit in a seated position or lie down on a mat
2. Place the right hand on the chest or heart and the left hand on the abdomen
3. Inhale deeply where you see your chest and abdomen rising fully like a balloon
4. And exhale where you see your tummy going inwards toward the spine, allowing all the air out of the belly
5. Practice this for 5-10 minutes

After this exercise, you will feel fresh and rejuvenated! But you have to try it to know it.

Watch SneakPeek of JoyScore 4-7-8 Breathing.


Dr. Bob Singhal

Professor Bhupendra 'Bob' Singhal, has taught creativity by joy and right-brain thinking, is a renowned international architect, won major design competitions, has over 70 awards, publications, and media mentions, and served as President of the American Institute of Architects South Bay. In 2011, in his book Joy in Health and Happiness: Your Optimal Path to Success, Professor Singhal wrote about the transformative power of joy and helped readers learn to enhance their daily experience of it.


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