Tip Tuesday: How to harness the power of conscious breathing

Welcome to Tammy Talk!

This is a platform where we share ways to build a healthy, happy life because happiness is built not bought. On Tip Tuesdays, I share one tip a week related to a common theme.
The current theme is


This week we learn to:


everyday vacay breathwork
Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash

How to stop an anxiety spiral

Learning to relax is easier said than done. But during the past two decades, I have adopted a yoga and meditation practice, both of which teach mindful breathing to reduce stress and anxiety. After learning basic breathwork techniques, I realized that my breathing anxiety was not because I couldn’t breathe in but that I wasn’t breathing out.  

I was so full of stress and tension, I could not let go of one breath to get another. 

Amy Meyer Yoga and Breathwork

"Breathwork balances the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system to take us from fight or flight mode to rest and relaxation," explains Amy Meyer, RYT-200 and founder of The SoulShine Collective and yoga instructor at Kickin' It Fitness Studio in DeFuniak Springs, FL.

Medicinal meditation

I practiced for years with one breathwork technique after another until I found one (eventually several) that work for me.  I can’t say that I’ve completely recovered all these years later. Sometimes, I still feel the breath being squeezed out of me, but now I know what to do:

  •  Find a peaceful place to sit with proper posture.
  •  Either close my eyes or find a fixed point to focus on.
  •  Breathe out slowly 1,2,3,4…
  •  In slowly 1,2,3,4…
  •  Repeat. Slowly.  
Enhance any workout with breathwork

     To increase the efficiency of a workout, prevent injury, build endurance, boost cardio function, and burn fat; just breathe.

Conscious breathwork can enhance the efficiency of any physical training program by increasing oxygen and decreasing the body’s CO2 levels.

“We coach our clients to breathe in during the negative movement and out during exertion,” says Rob Hamilton owner and trainer at Kickin’ It Fitness Studio in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. “For instance, during a push up, you would breathe in on the way down and out on the way back up.”

Boost metabolism and burn fat

Breathing correctly also helps prevent injuries by lowering levels of lactic acid and allowing the body to release toxins during exercise. By paying attention to your breath during a workout, you can easily enhance the effects and reduce the risk of injury while boosting metabolism.

Breathing while weight training, is critical to prevent internal injury such as hernia, blood vessel strain, and high blood pressure." says Hamilton

Conscious breathwork outside a workout allows you to pay attention to your breath and practice breathing patterns in a controlled setting. It may seem simple to take a deep breath, but most adults breath shallowly without completely exhaling, making it impossible to take a deep breath.

"Proper breathing clears mental, physical and emotional blocks by moving energy through our body's energetic systems and bringing balance to our whole being," says Meyer.

Try the following exercise to practice exhaling completely and inhaling deeply.

Simple breathwork exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your left hand on your abdomen and your right hand on your chest.
  • Breathe out slowly and completely to a count of eight.
  • Hold for a count of four.
  • Take a slow, deep breath filling your abdomen first then your chest. You should feel the left hand rise first followed by the right.
  • Repeat at least four times twice a day, preferably in the early morning and late afternoon.
Cultivate Natural energy 

Do you need more energy during the day, feel depleted in the afternoon, or crave caffeine after lunch? If so, take a few minutes to harness the power of your breath.

Breathwork is not just for stress relief and relaxation. Using the breath to boost energy and rejuvenate the body is an easy alternative to stimulants such as energy drinks, coffee, or sugar and produces no unwanted side effects.

Already addicted?

Simple exercises that take less than three minutes can boost energy and enthusiasm throughout the day without the dreaded calories, caffeine, or cravings. Most can be done at your desk or even in the car (parked not driving :). They require no special equipment, just time and space, and can be practiced as often as needed with no negative effects. You are already addicted to breathing, so there's no need to worry about creating an unwanted habit. "Simply breathing nourishes the body with clean oxygen and eliminates toxins," says Meyer. 

Simple exercise to increase energy:
  • Sit erect with hands on knees.
  • Inhale, bringing shoulders up toward ears.
  • Exhale, dropping shoulders. 
  • Repeat rapidly for thirty breaths.

Explore more breathwork and meditation techniques in The Everyday Vacay Seminar Series

Come join the conversation in Tammy Talk's Social Circle:

Let's help each other because we're all in this life together.
Visit Tammy Talk's Social Circle to join the conversation and contribute your tips, tools, and techniques for living a healthy, happy life.

We look forward to hearing from you :)

Everyday Vacay at TammyTalk.com

If you are generally tired and frustrated, click here to receive a free e-seminar that details the causes and the cure.

Or explore the entire Everyday Vacay Series :)