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Breathe in, Breathe Out

Exhale. Then hold after exhale.

Exhale. Then hold after exhale. This is one solution that helps bring us back into balance when we are feeling off center.

 

pracchardana-vidharanabhyam va pranasya – Yoga Sutra I.34

In order to come back into balance, one can take a long exhalation and hold after the breath.

 

Exhalation has quite a phenomenal effect on our physiology. Science has informed us that by consciously lengthening the rate at which we expel air, relative to the rate at which we take air in, it triggers the parasympathetic response in the autonomic nervous system. What this means is that we stay more calm and collected.

What is equally important to the physiological effect is the way in which exhalation supports us mentally and emotionally. Exhalation is the process in which carbon dioxide is expelled from the lungs. Carbon dioxide is (somewhat misleadingly), the waste byproduct from the air we breath. We need to remove it because when it is no longer serving its’ purpose, it becomes toxic. In much the same way emotions like stress, anxiety, worry, etc. are similar to carbon dioxide in that they also serve an initial purpose, before becoming waste. If we are unable to find the release, these emotions become toxic. By consciously letting go of the breath, we create a biological imprint that educated us on how to let go.

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