There is something so well known in the yoga world that we often take it for granted. To the world outside of yoga, it can be a revelation.

deep breathingThe ancient yogis knew the power of our breath and the energy behind it for calming us, energizing us, opening up spaciousness in us and healing ourselves physically and emotionally. They also believed that if we slowed down our breath we would live longer….

There is now research being done in Europe as to the power of our breath for healing and reducing anxiety and depression. The hope is to prove that breathing therapy is a cheaper and healthier alternative to drugs. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? For us yes! For the Pharmaceutical companies, not so good!

pranayama breathingYoga breathing is called Pranayama.

Prana means life force. We bring Prana into our body through our breathing, as well as our senses. Ayama means expansion, while yama means control.
So Pranayama is the expansion of the life force in our body through regulating our breath.

As we deepen and harmonize our breathing we also slow it down, which in turn calms down the autonomic nervous system and our stress response.

There are different Pranayama practices that can bring about altered physical, mental, and emotional states. Some of them are quite energetic and transformational and take years of practice. Caution is advised when trying to do the advanced practices.

I think because of this risk, many of the calming and soothing practices, which are completely safe, may have been overlooked.


I’m happy to share some simple breathing awareness exercises on the main pages. Please click here to begin your exploration of your breath.

My hope is that it will begin to transform how you breath, and how you feel.

It starts with tuning into your own breath. Getting a base line of how you breathe, and then gradually deepening it and slowing it down.

Aahh…. now that feels so good…. and does a body good!


18 comments on “Breathe Well and Be Well

  1. Yes! It’s also surprisingly simple and accessible. There’s nothing to buy.
    As you mention, maybe not so good for pharmaceutical companies. Hopefully their creativity and intelligence can be channeled to solving other problems besides generating huge profits where other effective modalities work. We can hope!


  2. I love breathing! 🙂 It is so life-giving – and life-changing – on every level!


  3. Pingback: Just Breathe | Spirit Lights The Way

  4. Thanks for a terrific share, Val. Whenever I meditate, I am reminded of the power of following the breath.

    Breathe. Relax. Repeat.
    Aah . . . that’s better!


  5. When I was a child, any time I was afraid I consciously slowed down my breathing, somehow I knew it worked. As with other things like faith, desiring to stand up for what is right and believing in dreams, I wonder if slowing down breathing is just another thing we are taught to outgrow.
    Diana xo


  6. As well as working for anxiety and depression (ie: chronic or episodic moods); breathing can also be a help in a crisis or confrontational situation. In those situations, it may not be possible to completely envelope oneself in spaciousness as depicted in the two photos. However, one can still slow down and simply breathe. This can help enormously in such situations.


    • Absolutely Elizabeth. Taking a deep breath when we have been triggered, or are in a frightening situation helps us overcome our fight or flight response, and access our thinking brain.
      Hhhmm .. I may post about this as I use it in my Emotional Intelligence coaching and training 🙂


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