Speeding through life and missing precious moments? Stretched too thin and feeling overwhelmed? These are common symptoms of today’s modern lifestyle, but is there a solution to getting back in touch with our bodies and restoring balance in the brain? The answer may surprise you: breathwork. In this blog post, we will discuss the connection between breath and brain functioning and why it could be the key to unlocking personal growth. Let’s explore how understanding this insight might help us lead more balanced lives!
Madison points out clearly, “Breathing is the second most important part of the fundamentals, and this is another area where I’ve personally and professionally seen and experienced people make a very big shift. The breath itself is kind of a bridge between what’s going on with the body and what’s going on with the mind. So it’s a pathway.”
Sometimes we can be very much in our minds and our bodies can have all of these reactions, and vice versa. When we can have them meet somewhere in the middle, then we can experience a more profound shift.
“(Intentional) breathing is one of the things we often hear people say they don’t have time for. If we haven’t thought about or put any time or effort into the quality of the breath, then you are going to breathe no matter what,” she says.
Our breathing can be like a machine that we are not controlling. It can cause a lot of trouble if we don’t pay attention to it.
Madison was asked why some people don’t pay attention to their breathing and what that could mean for their health. Madison had an interesting answer.
“I was introduced to breathwork very early on, in my early twenties, through a yoga instructor who has passed since. And what I learned from this teacher about the breath is that you can tell the quality of someone’s life by the quality of their breath.”
Furthermore, she mentioned that this is what sets yoga apart from marathon training, swimming training, and Pilates. In yoga, you use the breath in a special way. You learn how to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and be aware of what is happening around you.
It’s true that most of us are so busy in our day-to-day lives that we don’t take the time to become mindful of our breathing. But this is actually something that can be done anytime and anywhere. All it takes is a few minutes of focusing on your breath, taking deep breaths, and being aware of the sensations in your body. This can be a great way to relax, de-stress, and even improve your overall health. It can also help to improve your focus and concentration, and it can even help you to be more mindful of your thoughts and feelings.
Breathing and the Brain
This doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking minute of your life attending to your breath. You want to train your system to understand breath and automatically breathe better.
“The way we breathe is a neurological pathway that has been created and generated over your entire lifespan,” Madison says. “And what I’ve learned is a simple experiment you can do at home. If you aren’t feeling anxious, sit in a chair and shallow breathe for about three to five minutes and see and notice if perhaps you might feel anxious at the end of that experiment. Are you necessarily experiencing anxiety? Or is the body, through lack of awareness and connection to the breath, then having sensations that the brain goes: ‘This is anxiety.’”
Conversely, if you are feeling anxious, sit quietly in a chair. Command your breaths to deepen (with the utmost respect, of course), and watch as tranquility washes over you. Lo and behold, your brain will shift gears, processing information with renewed serenity. Quite the dramatic transformation, wouldn’t you agree?
In the enchanting world of deep breathing, not all adventurers embark from the serene shores of calmness. You see, there are those unique souls blessed with bountiful calm, rendering them so tranquil they may find themselves adrift without motivation. Upon examining the breath’s intricacies, we discover a missing link for such individuals: the ever-elusive component of strength. There are other components and elements to the breathwork itself, and their breathwork will be different than someone who has way too much vigor and they’re talking a mile a minute.
Different people can have different ways of breathing. But it is better to breathe deeply into your body. This way, more oxygen will move into your body and travel to the blood. If you only take shallow breaths, not much oxygen will go into the blood. You will not get enough oxygen in your brain, which makes it hard to think clearly and have energy.
Strength in Breathing
The breathing component we work with is teaching people how to discern their current breath pattern and, given whatever their presentation is, to alter their current state of improper reactions to the world.
It’s more of an awareness.
- Is it the breathing that enhances anxiety or whatever experience you’re having that is undesirable or not useful?
- Is it a lack of oxygen to the brain?
- Is it a lack of proper breathing alignment that might be causing pain?
There are so many different elements to it but ultimately, it starts with awareness.
- How are you breathing at this moment and what is contributing to that?
- Is it a weak muscle structure?
- Is it that no one ever taught you how to breathe deeply, fully, and completely with strength?
You can do exercises with your breath that will help balance your body and make it easier for the two sides of your brain to talk to each other. These only take a few minutes.
Breathing is a very intricate and elegant system that is just an introduction to what breath can do for you. “It’s not all about sitting in meditation and letting your mind go blank. It’s quite the opposite,” Madison emphasizes. It’s really allowing the breath to be the bridge to what’s going on inside of you.
The breathing has to be very intentional. And if you can do that a few times a day for a minute or three, you’ll be able to connect to yourself and notice your inner feelings and reactions.
This is reinforcing the theme that we’re striking continuously, which is the thought of self-empowerment. You, as a client, are not coming to The Balanced Brain to do neurofeedback or to work with Madison, to have her do something for you or to you. We’re here to provide the circumstances under which YOU become empowered to change the aspects of your life that are currently challenging.
With the breathing component in terms of sometimes experiencing a drop in breath, They take a breath in beautifully. However, when they exhale, there’s nothing there. Sometimes it’s about building the strength of the exhale itself. We build strength in any aspect of our physicality by working through resistance. If you add an element of resistance to the exhale, you build strength in that aspect of the breath. There is an aspect of that exhale that is connected to and deeply rooted in your cognitive function.
Neurofeedback can really get into those deeper areas that perhaps we’re not so connected to or aware of. “When you connect that to conscious awareness and take action, it’s like really building the bridge from both sides,” Madison says. “The action is you; you are empowered to allow this to happen.”
This is where we see a lot of shifts. Oxygenating the body and the brain will help you enhance your neurofeedback outcome.
To wrap things up, we at The Balanced Brain believe it is a worthwhile endeavor to become mindful of our breathing practices as a means to sustain brain health and reduce negative thought patterns. Those with an awareness of the mind-breath connection have the ability to thrive and operate at their peak potential. We can embrace the power of our breath and use it to further cultivate peace and harmony in ourselves and others. Why not give yourself this tool for growth? Make conscious breathing part of your daily routine and be empowered today by creating new pathways for harmony within your system. If you feel ready to take control of your life and move towards something brighter, schedule a discovery call with me or another holistic practitioner who is knowledgeable in this subject matter. Together, we can pave the way towards clarity, abundance, joy, and living with intention!