The most basic and effective way you can start to take control of your emotional states and physical well being is to learn how to breathe properly, breathe deliberately for outcome, and to simply be conscious of your breathing as much as possible.
Every cell in the body is wholly dependent upon oxygen. If a cell is receiving enough oxygen to stay alive, but not enough to thrive, its function declines. When muscle tissues are robbed of oxygen, they ache. When brain cells are robbed of oxygen, we feel states of emotional distress or lethargy. If on the other hand we are receiving an abundant supply of oxygen, we feel energized, emotionally balanced. We thrive.
If we take this a step further, and learn how to use specific breathing techniques for desired outcome, or learn to manipulate our breath patterns in order to alter our emotional state, we can make a profound and significant impact on our lives and our recovery. We can take serious control
My favored breath practice is doing long deep breaths (I do them throughout the day and at bed at night), but the most impactful breath technique in my toolkit is the Kundalini Breath of Fire.This is the tool I use when I'm in craving, feeling reactive, or otherwise totally out of my mind. It works fast at bringing me out of my reptilian, reactive, caveman "ME WANT FOOD" self and back into my higher, enlightened, Spirit Holly self (or as close to that as I can be in any given moment).
I've used it in myriad situations, sometimes in bathroom stalls, sometimes on public transportation, sometimes - because I have been doing it for so long and have gotten good - right in front of people without them knowing it. Like Kegels.
9 Possible Uses.
- When you would cut someone for a drink/cigarette/joint/other drug.
- When you are about to say something crazy/hateful/mean.
- When you are about to call him/text him/physically hurt him.
- When you are trying to not eat the entire cake.
- Before/during an interview.
- Before/during a wedding or other freaky social gatherings.
- Before/during a date or other life threatening events.
- Before/during/during/during/after your visit home.
- Anytime you feel like you are about to freak the fuck out.
Seriously, I use this breath ALL THE TIME. It doesn't always save me. Sometimes I still send him the text message and sometimes I eat the entire cake and sometimes I'm an asshole to my mom. But these things happen less and less as I use tools like this consistently, and learn to chose the tool in the moment over the reaction that would feel so good/cause major regret.
Learn it and use it and I PROMISE it will change your life. I suggest doing it for 3 minutes a day (at the start of your day) as a rule (as normal practice), and using it for 1- to 3-minute intervals as needed. Pregnant women and women on the first three days of their period are advised not to perform breath of fire, and instead use long deep breaths.
KUNDALINI BREATH OF FIRE.
WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS.
- Start sitting in easy pose or standing with an erect spine.
- Stick your tongue out, and begin panting like a dog. The exhale is forced, the inhale is passive.
- Begin pumping the navel center on the exhale - put your hands on your stomach as you are pumping, noticing the belly pull in as the exhale comes out, and noticing the belly fill as you passively inhale.
- When you feel comfortable with this, close your mouth and do the same breathing pattern through the nose only. The exhale is forced, the inhale is passive, the navel pumps in on the exhale.
- There is no pause between the inhaling and exhaling - it is one fluid movement.
- Continue for 1-3 minutes. Advanced practitioners 7-10 minutes up to 15-31 minutes.
You may find it difficult to do at first - your abdominal muscles may tire, you may not be able to do it very fast. Just keep going with it and I promise it will get easier. You may feel lightheaded or tingly - this is perfectly normal, your body is adjusting to this new stimulation of nerves. Build it up slowly.
10 Benefits of Breath of Fire.
- Reduction of addictive impulses.
- Increased resistance to stress.
- HIGHLY detoxifying.
- Quickly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body detoxify itself and remove waste more effectively, and quickly restoring equilibrium/balance.
- Enhances balance of sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic nervous systems.
- Strengthens shaky nerves.
- Increase in endurance.
- Releases toxins and deposits from lungs, mucous lining, blood vessels and cells
- Synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm, thus promoting greater internal harmony and health.
- Helps you regain control in a stress or survival situation.