Pranayama - Coherent breathing

Prana, is the vital force (breath), and Yama the control of that energy. When the two are brought together they have far-reaching benefits.

A balanced breath stimulates all the chakras, with many benefits including boosting your immune system.

When we breathe in this way it helps to calm our nervous system. You can do this breath anywhere, sitting at your desk, watching tv, or on the school pick up. A really great time to practice coherent breathing is in the evening as part of your bedtime routine.

The coherent breathing state is a more fluid condition than deep relaxation, in that as you inhale you become slightly sympathetic biased and as you exhale you become slightly parasympathetic biased, you swing slightly backwards and forwards between the two states like a pendulum.

How do I Perform Coherent Breathing?

A few simple steps:

1/ Try to relax your body & mind. Begin by noticing your breath. How it feels moving in and out of your body.

2/ Now begin to count your breath. How long it takes for a full inhale, how long for an exhale.

3/ Try to guide yourself to Inhaling to a count of 6 and exhaling to a count of 6. Take your time to work towards this. Aiming to keep relaxed and allowing ample time for your nervous system and heart rate to adjust into the coherent state.

With coherent breathing, relaxation is the priority, to create and maintain a calm state. If at any point you find it demanding or a strain to maintain the breathing rhythm you give up controlling the breath let it do whatever it wants and concentrate on maintain the feeling of relaxation.

In the beginning it may take a few attempts minutes to gently align your autonomic nervous system, breathing and heart rate into the coherent state. With practice, however, you will be able to switch into this balanced state whenever you need it.

‘Life is a balance of holding on and letting go’

Happy breathing!