The Secret to Relaxation

by Melissa West on September 28, 2016

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The Secret to Relaxation


the-secret-to-relaxation-with-jeff-chandToday we welcome Jeff from Think Vitality to talk to us about the secret to relaxation.

It is simpler and easier than you think 🙂

Qigong breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is incredibly important to invoke a relaxation response. Dr. Herbert Benson was the first to name the relaxation response in the 1970s and his book, The Relaxation Response speaks all about the medical effects of deep breathing. One of the main benefits of deep breathing is that it reduces stress. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and calms down the fight or flight response in the back of your brain. It also stimulates our vagus nerve and calms your body down. With diaphragmatic breathing or qi gong breathing there are many ways that work and focused, mindful practice is most important.

Four aspects of Qigong breathing

  1. Mindfulness – pay attention to your breathing. Jeff likes counting his breath up to 10 as a way to create focus. “The more you feel it, the more effective it is.” Jeff Chand
  2. Natural breathing
  3. Breathe Deeply without causing strain or tension in your body
  4. Coordination (in the video at 6 mins we show you how to coordinate breath and movement with Rising and Falling Qigong Breath)

We talk about the balance between yin and yang, focus and relaxation. In the end Jeff reminds us it doesn’t have to keep getting more and more complicated to be more effective. Keeping it simple with a simple breathing exercise like the one we showed you here is incredibly effective.

For a whole class on how to breathe in our 70 minute free back to school series.

Back to School Yoga: Science Class: How to Breathe, Intermediate Yoga Class, Yoga with Melissa 347

In our membership community we have a 12 minute short guided relaxation/meditation in reclined, supported savasana for diaphragmatic breathing also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing has many benefits including reducing the fight or flight response that activates your sympathetic nervous system leading to high blood pressure, heart disease, suppressed immune system, anxiety and depression. When you breathe mindfully with diaphragmatic breathing you will receive full oxygen exchange, release toxins from your body, allow your cells to receive fresh oxygenated blood, massage your abdominal organs aiding in digestion, slow your heart rate, lower and stabilize your blood pressure.

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