I have been so incredibly fortunate to study at Breathing School with the iconic Ben Wolff at the Shala in London. He is incredibly knowledgeable in the fields of neuroscience and clinical hypnotherapy but has spent the last 10 years studying the effects of the breath on our health, well being and our brain waves.
So how can I spend 30 hours studying something we all know how to do?
Well, to be honest I did wonder this when I began too. But now I’ve completed the Breathing School course I feel I have barely scratched the surface. As a species we have become incredibly lazy in utilising full belly breaths the way we did when we were babies. Have you ever watched a baby sleep? Seen the rise and fall of their belly as they breathe? Later on in life we seem to lose this skill, choosing instead to only breathe into the top part of our lungs. And then there’s the speed in which we breathe.. actually the optimum is only 6 breaths a minute! Give it a go, I bet you’re not breathing at that rate are you? I certainly wasn’t.
Then there’s the mouth breathing…..
So many of us are mouth breathers now and actually find it difficult to revert back to nasal breathing. Nasal breathing is antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral, providing our body’s first line of defence. Even more important in today’s situation.
Utilising belly breathing and properly engaging the diaphragm increases the body’s ability to use oxygen by 500% by increasing the blood circulation to the brain. It also helps the body’s ability to use nitrous oxide, the pathogen responsible for oxygen delivery. Up to 20% more oxygen is available to nasal breathers than mouth breathers too. Isn’t that insane? We can just make this small adjustment and our health will benefit no end.
So that was just the basic breathing part of the course, there was so much more!
Ben introduced us to specific techniques utilising the breath than can help us with anxiety, panic attacks, grief, Long Covid, hypertension, menopause, pain… and the list goes on.
I will definitely incorporate these breathing techniques into my general classes as the benefits are achievable and I for one, have really noticed a difference. After just a month of practising the 6 breaths a minute I was taught, my resting heart rate on average has gone down by 10 beats per minute and my heart rate when I run is peaking at around 20-30 beats per minute slower than before.
I hope to run some workshops soon utilising these methods. I believe as the country starts to open up again after the pandemic, understandably many of us are going to find it incredibly stressful integrating back into society. I for one, have increasing anxieties about being in slightly crowded environments so I’m sure there’s more people like me who will need some coping techniques to help us work through it. Watch this space! In the meantime, if you are feeling overwhelmed currently please do message me and I’m sure I can help. Sometimes just making a slight adjustment can make all the difference to our state of mind.
Breathe, Believe, Be 💕