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  • Writer's pictureEmZen

Just Breathe

woman sitting cross legged on a mountain boulder meditating

When I was a little girl and would get frustrated, my mother would say, “Emmie just take a breath.” Thanks Mom! Right track, it’s nine breaths though! Your breath is a powerful tool in regulating your parasympathetic nervous system. Nine slow deep breaths can switch your body back into the safe state of Rest and Digest., where healing and growth is possible. There’s really only one thing you are required to do in this life, and that’s breathe. You can survive for days without water, weeks without food, but only minutes without breath. It’s so important that it’s the only body function that is voluntary AND involuntary to make sure you are always breathing. No wonder it’s the foundation of a good Yoga practice. In Yoga we call it Pranayama, which translates as “vital life force.” It is one of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, just as important as the physical practice we show up to. Ancient yogis believed that your focused breath can directly affect the quality of your health and your life. A trend modern medicine has finally hopped on 5000 years later! The research is overwhelming on how your breath benefits your health from your blood pressure and circulation to toxin removal, pain relief, digestion, your stress levels and relaxation to name a few. Breathing exercises boost your energy and immunity. Your full deep breaths even support better posture! The practice of Pranayama brings the breath, body, and mind all into alignment. There are many different ways to practice Pranayama, from simple breathwork exercises to visualization meditations. (See below for some of my favorites!) For some people it’s as simple as taking a walk in the fresh spring air or sitting by the oceanside coordinating their breaths with the waves. Yogis practice in class by coordinating our physical movements with our breath and by using our breath to fuel our muscles during challenging exercises. Power up your day and join me for this Ujjayi Meditation filmed at my home studio the Yoga Lab!

Ujjayi Meditation Power Up your day with this simple breathwork exercise.

Building your Vital Life Force is an important practice ! So keep breathing.. and... Next time life starts to come at you fast, slow down. Take nine slow deep breaths and send a little gratitude to your mom! To see more of my favorite meditations and learn more about meditation and breathwork, check out my 21 Day Meditation Reboot below...

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