The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#36: Breathe Well: Live & Love Well

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, July 25, 2011

Breathing (like sex) is one of things we do in life that is considered ‘natural’ and so we believe it should function automatically without any attention or conscious effort on our part.

However, without this attention, breathing (like sex) generally worsens over time, becoming less effective and therefore less supportive to your health and wellbeing.

When we are little babies, we naturally breathe deep into our torsos, down into our bellies. When a baby is lying on its back you can see it’s little tummy going up and down as it breathes in and out. As we get older though, our breathing tends to get shallower and shallower. With some people their breathing gets so shallow that they are barely breathing lower than their shoulders, barely using their lungs at all. For the great majority of people the breath doesn’t get much lower than that, just the upper chest is used to breathe.

Take a moment to observe how deeply into your torso you breathe. Is it the upper chest, the full diaphragm? Or is your breath going deep into your belly, so you can see your abdomen rising with the in breath and falling with the out breath?

The more shallowly you breathe, the more anxious you feel, and vice versa.

Breathing into your belly has so many benefits:

  • Your breathing slows down and becomes fuller, so you are calmer and get more oxygen into your body.
  • Your unconscious focus is on the centre of your body, your belly, rather than high up in your chest and shoulders, so you are more centred in life, moving more steadily and evenly through the day and facing the challenges of life with more centre and balance.
  • You constantly give your internal organs a massage, which improves their health and improves the movement within your intestines.
  • You are constantly giving your abdominal muscles a gentle workout, keeping them toned.
  • You keep your upper and lower body connected, so that you’re not ‘in your head’ like so many westerners.
  • The combined benefits of living more calmly, having healthier organs, toned abdominals and being connected to your whole body also means that you are healthier in general, looking younger, feeling more vital and generally having a better quality of life.
Those are the general benefits. To add a few sexual ones:
  • You can reach higher levels of arousal and extend the period of arousal through belly breathing.
  • You can have better quality, more pleasurable and longer lasting orgasms.
  • You can connect better with your partner through synchronising your breathing.
  • You can help each other stay at high levels of arousal by reminding each other to breathe.
Breathe to your belly; change your life.

You can see an instructional video I made on how to belly breathe here.


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