Beach Walk Audio 9 – Breathing Brings Joy to Life

beachwalkaudio graphicBreathing techniques for stress reduction.

One of the main reasons I go to beach every day is to re-center myself, to wash away stress, to remember the things in life that I so easily forget. Like how to breathe when I am tense. Today’s episode is on one of my favorite techniques, a simple counting method that I find very easy and very quick.

Have you tried it? What other techniques do you like to practice? Share ’em with us please!

I’ll be joining the Health Hacks podcast, so please check that out if you are looking for discussions on health.

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Hawaiian words
Hanu: to breathe

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  1. LOL! I teach a yoga class with all older participants, and they regularly complain to me about sweating and not being able to breathe. As a former obese person myself, I pace the class very gently with modifications to fit every body, so I know it’s within everyone’s ability level. They are just not used to sweating. They complain about not being able to breathe when they first walk in the door, before doing anything! 😎 They keep coming back, so evidently it’s fine.

    The Anatomy of Hatha Yoga text explains that rapid breathing disrupts the oxygen to CO2 balance in the body, heightening the stress response and inducing a feeling of panic. The recommended breathing technique there is to EXHALE twice as long as the inhale. Additionally, pursing the lips on the exhale serves to slow your breathing further (and it gives something to focus on when you’re feeling scared/angry). This breathing pattern is just like breathing into a paper bag when you are hyperventilating. It increases the amount of CO2 in the blood, which you want, since when hyperventilating you’re getting too much oxygen in the bloodstream, unbalancing yourself. It sounds counterintuitive, until you study the oxygen-C02 balance stuff.

    Try it sometime. I’m also a therapist and have taught it to clients, as have other therapists I know, with great results.

  2. Mahalo Celeste! We could have a whole separate show with many episodes on breathing; how about I interview for next week’s podcast and we can do this together live?

  3. Sure! Do you have any questions I can think about in advance? Shoot me an email.

    (my favorite: alternate nostril breathing)

    Would love to say hello in person when I’m in Oahu again (next year). Love your show and Lexie is my guru. 😎

  4. Dan Brown says

    Celeste, thank you for the validation of what I’ve incidently found effective. With occassional 2 or 3 forceful long exhales I feel intuitively the stale air trapped in remote crevasses of my lungs are purged and without further effort or thought the inhale automatically refills with “good air”.
    Actually I am without schooling in these matters so this may be totally incorrect. I am interested to learn more. So looking forward to next week’s Beach Walks’ podcast with this topic.

  5. Luci from Albuquerque says

    Aloha, Rox!

    I’ve been using your breathing technique intuitively, so it’s great to learn the physiology behind why it works!

    (1) When I’m with someone who’s obviusly stressed out and asking for help, my first response is to tell them, “Breathe in. Breath Out.” It’s amazing how quickly things calm down so they can look clearly at what’s bugging them and how to resolve it.

    (2) I started using it more recently as way to cut down on smoking, and it works there, too! I’ve tried hypnosis, cold turkey, acupuncture, patches, gum, herbal remedies, etc., ad nauseum over the years and nothing worked.) Having finally (!) figured out that most of the cigarettes I consume are when I’m bored or stressed, whenever I automatically reach for one I’ve started conscious breathing and the urge to light up simply goes away in a minute or so. (I’m now down to just a couple a day and, hopefully, the final cessation will come shortly…haven’t figured out yet why I just can’t walk away from them ;o(