Taking Regular Breath Snacks
Although you may only have two or three main meals in a day, there is a good chance you wander off for a snack, coffee or tea at other times. If you think about those snacks, they provide more of a mental break and social purpose than any blood glucose need. (Which is good news seeing as most snacks aren’t that healthy!) But when you see them as “stress relief” then maybe they’re healthier than the label gives them credit for. Anyway, whatever you do my point here is to extend the same advice to the breath.
You may (or may not) have some kind of practice, involving movement and/or breath in the morning or evening. These practices are like the main meals you enjoy each day. Just like snacks, you may also see that a “breathing break” is also needed at certain times throughout the day.
You may need one every hour. You could be reading this email and decide to tune into your breath, making it deeper and slower. Find those moments and enjoy them. I advocate the idea of the breathing break as it is so effective, so easy, and can even be done while involved in a meeting. How about simply getting up out of your office chair, simply stretching and taking some deep breaths? Then you can run for a snack!
You can watch the short video below that gives some practical tips for a breathing break. With my advisory professor this past month at Emory we have been implementing such an approach into undergraduate lectures. This is a group of 150 20-ish year old students. Their feedback is quite amazing, first to see how much stress they carry, and second to see that they are finding new territory in tuning into their posture and breath. Of course, they don’t have this video. Lucky you!
Many breaths, stretches, and snacks for you.
Dr. Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: (1) three decades of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; (2) uniquely acknowledged in the Yoga tradition by the title of “Master Yogi-Prānācharya (expert in breath)”, following an immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; (3) a PhD in doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) covering both the tradition and science of yoga and breath practices in terms of stress, health and aging. As a result, Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on the breath, body, and meditative practices, seen as a Teacher-of-teachers and identified to carry on the tradition of Pranayama. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research, to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas of how we live, breathe and be, to help people improve their mental and physical health, and live more fulfilling lives.
For more on his background see his bio