This week we will do a form of breath control (pranayama) to help our minds focus and bodies relax. When we sit and focus our conscious attention on our breath we can proactively relax our bodies and therefore our minds. Our "cool down response" (parasympathetic nervous system) is directly connected to our diaphragm. When we deepen our breath we trigger this response.
The "shaped breath" will be a short breathing cycle; a pattern we will continue for five minutes. The shaped breath will consist of 4 parts repeated:
- Breathe in to the count of five
- Hold our breath for the count of five
- Exhale for the count of five
- Hold our breath out for the count of five
We will do this for five minutes and then come back to a natural breath. Notice how changing your breath for only five minutes can drastically change your state of mind.
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