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Live Whole Health #217: Are you breathing?

Our breath is controlled by the autonomic nervous system (also known as the involuntary nervous system), so we don’t ever have to think about the act of breathing. Like digestion, heart rhythm and other functions, our brain just does it for us!

However, when we do take the time to notice, we can use our breath to help us regulate our emotions, bring a sense of peace and even help us to think more clearly.

We take it everywhere!

What a wonderful gift it is, our breath is always with us! In traffic, at work, at our kid’s soccer game—it goes where we go.

I can still put myself back into the place in 2009 when I first harnessed the power of my breath. People were arguing with each other, the room was filled with tension and I was the person in charge! Suddenly, I remembered the breathing practice I had learned in yoga: deep belly breathing. In that very moment I learned the power of breathing deeply into my abdomen, holding it for a couple of seconds and then slowly exhaling. It immediately calmed my nervous system and allowed me to begin to bring some peace into the room.

It takes practice

We can build up our “breathing muscles” by practicing formal breathwork exercises. Like building our muscles, the more we do this, the stronger we become, and the easier it is to use the breath when we need it in our daily lives.  

Join Brandon Yabko, Ph.D. from Salt Lake City VA Medical Center for this 12-minute mindfulness of breath activity and drop into the body. Prepare to connect with your breath and your body in a brand-new way.

Check out another breathing practice with this 6-and-a-half-minute video.

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