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Om & Ahhh

September 28, 2018

By Mariel Witmond

In a world where stress seems to rule our lives and we feel like we have no control over the direction we are going in, it’s time to wake up to the power of breath. Breathing techniques are now being embraced by people across the world for their infinite benefits and I’m delighted to be holding a workshop at PYC with ‘the breath guy’ Richie Bostock.

In sanskrit the yogic breathing practice of pranayama is translated as “extension of the life-force” stemming from the belief that we are born with only so many breaths, so the slower, longer we can learn to breathe, the longer we will in turn live.

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Way back when, our breath served as a stress response for fight or flight situations.  Our secondary breathing muscles kick in during fight or flight as we start to breathe faster, creating increased glucose in the blood for more energy to react. These are automatic body responses that we have no control over. We can, however, control our breath – which influences these automatic body responses. When we slow down our breathing we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the body and mind into a state of rest and digest.

photo0040Ironically, in this day and age of relative security, we live in a state of perpetual stress – worrying about our careers, about money, about relationships, you name it. We suffer from chronic anxiety that often translates into chronic physical pain as our high adrenaline and cortisone levels lead to illness and disease. There’s never been a more important time for us to learn how to breathe.

Practicing breathing exercises can relieve stress and anxiety, reduce blood pressure, detoxify the body by releasing toxins, break through emotional blockages, improve sleep, aid digestion, strengthen muscles and bring clarity to the mind. I’m sure the list goes on!

With a quieter mind we are able to think more clearly and make the right choices for our own wellbeing.  After all: “Breathing and thinking are the two most important processes, one for sustaining life and other for giving it a purpose.” – Tasneem Hameed

One of the easiest ways to quieten the mind is to shift your focus to your breathing. So what breathing exercises does Richie recommend? “Breathing day to day should consist of four things: low (deep), slow (drag exhale out longer), through the nose (as it filters the air), and let go (do not use any energy to exhale).”

Join Mariel and Richie on 27th October for an afternoon of yoga and breath. Stretch, open and expand your body with a mindful, energetic and fun vinyasa flow led by Mariel, followed by 45 minutes of transformative breathing experience with Richie that will leave you feeling totally blissed out. You can book here.

Check them out on Instagram: @xhalebreathwork & @mindfulsonder.

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