Podcast: Episode 80: Breathing to Downregulate


It’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s and I’m so happy you’re tuning into this breathing series I’ve created for you. What I’m sharing with you this week will help you really settle, relax, rejuvenate and simply breathe.

Partaking in the exercises I have been sharing will help you connect more deeply to your breathing and explore how breathing can impact your health, wellbeing, and emotional state. So I hope you’ll accept this new year’s present I’m giving to you this week.

Join me this week as I’m showing you how to tune into your inhale and exhale and sharing 3 exercises to help you downregulate and learn to free your breath versus control it. I’m sharing a mantra to help you with these exercises and showing you how to use these exercises to reconnect with yourself, clear out the mental clutter and tune into the wisdom of your body.

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What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • 3 breathing exercises to help you notice your breath, relax into it, and reverse the perception of it.
  • Some questions to help you notice your breath.
  • The amazing thing about these breathing exercises.

Featured on the Show:

  • If you have found yourself loving what I am teaching, we dig into a lot more of this with much more detail in my membership program Healing and Revealing Human Potential. Email us at [email protected] for more information about how to join, I would love to work with you.

Full Episode Transcript:

Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.

Welcome back, I'm so glad you're here. This episode is dropping during the week between Christmas and New Year's, and I'm so happy that you are tuning in for this breathing series that I've created for you to really help you to settle, to relax, to rejuvenate, and just to breathe. So here you go, my New Year’s present to you.

The three exercises that I have in store for you are, first of all, noticing your breath. Then we'll move into a relaxing breath. And then into what I like to call reversing the perception of your breathing. And these all help you to connect more deeply to your breathing and explore how breathing can really impact your health, your wellbeing, your mental state, and your emotional state. So here we go.

Set yourself up into a place that is comfortable. So whether you are sitting on your couch, whether you are out for a walk, whether you are on the floor, get yourself comfy, comfy, comfy. And if you are lying or sitting, then if you notice yourself that you could be five to 10% more comfortable, then choose that which would increase that level of comfort for you.

So if you need to press pause on me while you get what you need, then do so. And as you settle in, then tune into your breathing. And first notice just what your breath is doing in this moment. So you'll notice yourself inhaling and you’ll notice yourself exhaling.

Now a lot of people like to talk about controlling the breath. And traditionally in yoga the technique of pranayama has an element of forcing or controlling. And what I want to utilize these exercises for is more about freeing as opposed to control. So in that spirit, simply notice what your breath is doing.

Now, by simply noticing sometimes the breath changes. I think about my own children who are four and a half. And when I noticed them, like if they've been off playing on their own and I come into the scene and I simply notice them, their behavior starts to change, right? So when we place our attention on something, it's not surprising that it changes. That's okay. Just notice that it changed.

Notice the quality of it, so maybe it's warm, maybe it's cool, maybe it's thin, maybe it's slim. Maybe it's full, maybe it's empty or tight. Maybe you’re mouth breathing or you’re nose breathing. Maybe your nose is really congested. Maybe you're feeling a bit tight through your ribcage or your abdomen.

However it feels, what do you notice about your breathing? You can even go so far as to feel the phases of your breath. So the inhale, the air comes in. The exhale, the air goes out. Typically there's a pause at the top of the inhale and a pause at the bottom of the exhale. You might have a pause, you might not have a pause. It's noticing if that exists and just to see the baseline for what your breath is.

I don't tend to teach people about the right way of breathing. I have my druthers about diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, and I spoke a little bit about that on an earlier episode around breath and bloating. We'll put that episode in the show notes if you want to go there.

More what I want you to play with is your own personal subjective experience of what it is to breathe. And just think about your day and how your day was with you, and you were with your day. How your breath responded.

Okay, so now what I'd like you to play with is tune into your inhale and your exhale. And I even did this when I said to tune into the inhale first and then the exhale, because we typically consider the inhale comes first and then the exhale comes second. And we enter into the world with this great inhale and we exit the world with an exhale. So it makes sense that we have this perception.

But to play around, we're going to think about the exhale leading the breath and the inhale following that. And what's really interesting about that, exhaling first, then inhaling is that to enable a deeper breath a lot of people believe they need to inhale more deeply.

But what's very curious is that to inhale deeply is not about bringing more breath in. I's actually about emptying your lungs that much more. So when you're emptying out the air with a full exhale, the inhale will naturally become deeper. So there's other breath techniques that we can explore in future episodes around deepening that exhale that you'll automatically see the deepening of the inhale.

But for now we're going to start with the deepening just starting with the exhale. Noticing when you focus on the exhale, how the inhale might change and just notice what happens for you. Exhale first, inhale second. Exhale, then inhale.

The exhale has a component of letting go to it. The inhale has an inspiration quality to it. Okay, so now let that idea go and just let your natural breath, no technique, just let your natural breath emerge. And notice if there's anything new or different about how you're breathing.

Perfect. Okay, so now we're here with the inhale and the exhale. And we're going to add in a mantra, which is really a very short two word phrase. The word is so and the second word is hum. So on the inhale, hum on the exhale. And you can say it to yourself or you can say it out loud, totally up to you.

So on the inhale, hum on the exhale. Now if part of you is thinking what the heck is this so hum thing? What a mantra does is it helps focus our attention. So is I, hum is am. So if it makes more sense for you to say I am, so hum, either or works.

So inhale is so or I, exhale is hum or am. So on the inhale and hum on the exhale. Let's take for more cycles. Perfect. Okay, so now let the technique go, let the mantra go and just notice the breath that's arising. How has the quality of your breath changed or shifted? Maybe there has been, maybe there hasn't been. But notice what is now present.

What's amazing about breathing exercises is you can truly do them anywhere, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere. Of course, if you're driving and you're walking keep your eyes open. But they’re something so simple, they're free, and it's a way to help you reconnect to yourself to help you quiet your mind. Help you clear out some of that mental clutter, and to tune into the wisdom of your body.

So if one of them or all three of these really worked for you, then use them all. If one of them really didn't resonate, then ditch it and work with the ones that did. The key is to work with that which resonates the most with you to support yourself in your own growth, in your development and evolution.

If you have found yourself really loving what it is that I'm teaching here, we dig into a lot more of this with much more detail in my Healing and Revealing Human Potential program, which is my membership program. It’s a lifetime membership fee. There's a curriculum that's over 22 videos. We meet on a monthly basis, two or three times. There's a whole Susi's resource library of over 200 videos that really bring the concepts to life.

The community of people are all on purpose in terms of understanding how their symptoms are really messengers. Their breath is a messenger and there's a way of down regulating and really connecting to ourselves. Self-love leading to self-care and really moving ourselves to our greatest potential and utilizing our bodies as a barometer for that evolution.

So if that is something that really piques your interest, you want to get into the nuance of healing and recovery, email us at [email protected] I would love to work with you next year. Take care. Have a great end of your year.

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