The Breath as your friend - by Ben Wolff
For thousands of years, people have been interested in the breath and the role it plays in our lives. Books have been written in ancient China and India exploring this topic from over 3000 years ago and instinctively we can see for ourselves that breathing patterns differ from person to person and emotion to emotion. How does an anxious person breathe? What about someone who's depressed? An angry person? A person experiencing pain? How about asthma, allergies, breathlessness and sleeplessness? All of these breath signatures literally create a feeling.
In 2002 Pierre Phillpott published a paper with his findings that the “Breath and emotion are Bi-Directional” and that specific emotions induce specific breath patterns. This means that we all have the freedom to make voluntary changes in breath patterns to induce specific emotions. At Stanford in 2017, Professor of Biochemistry, Mark Krasnow (the man who discovered Why We Sigh!) unveiled exactly how slow breathing regulates our emotions and induces tranquillity. Every breath you take is being listened to by a tiny section of emotional regulating neurons in the brainstem (there are about 170 of them) which then accordingly is telling the rest of the brain how to feel and what to do. It's like you have a direct line to the 170 most important people in the world listening to every breath and doing exactly as you instruct. Without you knowing...
There has, to date, been much research on the effects of how we breathe on our emotions and overall health. The unanimous conclusion being that the Breath can tell you what to do and feel, and that we listen to this and act and feel according to these instructions. The good news is that Breath is controllable and unhealthy patterns of breathing are reversible, instantly. By using the natural mechanisms of the nervous system we can bring it to a state of calm almost instantly and through simple tools and techniques. We can stop the panic. We can halt the anger. We can reverse the fatigue. We can use our Breath to talk to our brain to communicate that all is well, and the brain can communicate this back to the body in a positive feedback loop.
The Brilliant Author and Science Journalist James Nestor quotes an old Taoist text from sometime around 1000BCE “that to breathe in the wrong way has terrible adverse effects on health”. In James’ new book, Breath - A Lost Art of A Science, we learn that “you can never be really healthy without breathing right, we know that now”. And no more does this apply than to our emotions, our reactions, and how to run and regulate the nervous system so it works for you as a friend rather than against you as a jailor.
Learn how to regain control of your emotions, feelings, thoughts, behaviour and ultimately your health by the revelation that is voluntarily regulated breathing patterns. It's like having a remote for the brain and the body, in your own hands. The Shala in conjunction with Breathing School (Ben Wolff) are running their fifth training through live streaming for anybody interested in getting more information and learning tools that can empower humans to use the Breath in a healing and stabilising way. For more information on the Breathing School please click here.