Breathing is one of the things I feel like you really can't go wrong with. In fact, I've had multiple women tell me, "I was freaking out, and then I heard your voice in my head saying, when in doubt... breathe!" (For the record- I always picture myself as a little angel/devil sitting on their shoulders when I hear these stories.)
In Chinese medicine breathing is a really balanced option. Breathing brings more oxygen into your body (builds you up to give you a boost), removes waste from your body (detoxes you of things you don't need) and creates movement ("the qi follows the breath" so it gets things circulating literally and figuratively). So regardless of your pattern of imbalance... If you are lacking oomph, have too much of a bad thing, or are clenched and stuck... (or a mix of more than one for that matter). Breathing is a good option for ALL!
I'm a fan of keeping things simple. I usually start with women on simple breath awareness. Just noticing the breath whenever they think of it throughout the days, bringing some attention to deepening it a bit, noticing the pauses between the inhalations and exhalations and should they only do it for two breaths at a time a few times each day they still benefit from the cumulative effects as their body gets used to breathing a little more deeply and they take mini-breaks from stress to check in with their breath!
Of course there are lots of specific breathing exercises for those who take to breath work and crave more or want to explore things more in depth. I found this nice article in the yoga journal that outlines some of the basics of pranayama (breath control exercises) including how to do basic pranayamas, what breathing exercises do to our blood PH, heart rate, and more. It also has specific techniques for using the breath to improve fatigue, anxiety and depression.
And on this chart you'll find pranayama counts (for inhale, pause, exhale, pause) to feel more energized, balanced or relaxed. Give each of them a try and see if they feel different to you. Kind of a cool little experiment. And of course, let common sense and your body be your guide. Do not force your breath if it isn't comfortable and do not continue if you feel lightheaded or other uncomfortable sensations. You know my drill by now... more is not better :)
Welcome to my blog!
I'm an acupuncturist, teacher, fertility specialist, patient centered advocate, mom, activist and more! This blog is a place for me to write down the things on my mind, the things I discuss over and over, and the things I find helpful, interesting, and inspiring all in the hope that someone else out there, maybe YOU, will find some of these things to be helpful, interesting and inspiring too. I love learning, I love sharing, and I am passionate about helping others lead more balanced, fertile, and healthy lives - while trying to do the same myself. So here goes... The Blogging Life...