Embryonic Breathing, the long-lost secret to health, vitality and longevity. Other names are embryological breathing, reverse breathing, or the breathless breath.
Embryonic breathing originates from the womb. The breath patterns originated from the stomach. Before we were born, we didn't need our lungs to breath. We were protected and encased in amniotic fluid. It supported embryonic breathing, the mother’s supply of oxygen and provided nutrients.
Learning the embryonic breath pattern takes place when you were pure and innocent. The time, living in the womb or as an infant you had no self identity. When you were untainted and free of mind and body, but full of unbound spirit.
This embryonic breathing practice is a journey. Where unlimited healing and well-being form with limitless possibility to heal. This breathing practice resolves long niggling physical ailments and underlying emotional discomfort. It will bring a fresh outlook to life and self.
My own experience of this practice cannot be written or verbally conveyed. I have received mental, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits. My advice, give it a go and experience for yourself. You will be glad you did!
Chest breathing causes stress and breakdown. Overtime as we live life, we develop a unhealthy lifestyle. Having unhealthy habits, breathing from the stomach lessens and chest breathing increases. Chest breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system where fight or flight reactions occur. Chest breathing, if you realise it or not, causes stress and debilitating body movement. Learning to breathe through the stomach will shift the body and mind. You will transform from a sympathetic state into a parasympathetic state. Where health and attitude improve.
I will share some insights, methods and internal connections. My intention is to enhance and fortify stomach breathing. Will teach you how to reduce breathing from the chest. Optimize your breathing practice will bring a new sense of health. Practice embryonic breathing at your own pace. Whatever pace you choose will be perfect.
In normal breathing patterns, if correct, the first two to three breaths fill up the stomach. The last one to three breaths fill the chest. For many of us today, our breath patterns travel from mouth to chest, its reversed. Meaning, excessive breath into the chest and inadequate breath into the stomach. The reversed breathing pattern is a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle causes various stresses.
Causes of stress ...
Inadequate sleep and rest
Reduced physical activities(exercise, stretching, yoga etc)
Heightened amount of mental stress of excessive information
Breath controls our biological systems
The breath reflex originated and manifested before most other bodily parts and systems. An imbalanced breathing pattern will cause many health issues. It's the foundation for our bodily systems and how well they function.
It's the highest on the neurological reflex order of survival. Simply put, the way you breathe has the biggest influence on your mental, emotional and physical capacity.
Nose Breathing Promotes Good Health
Inhaling and exhaling through the nose will promote good health. Practice keeping the tongue in the roof of the mouth or palate. The nose anatomically and neurologically integrates and locks in the breath. This creates a sealed container and closed-circuit. Will maintain inner abdominal pressure and tone. When the diaphragm properly contracts, it allows a fuller breath. The role the diaphragm was designed for.
Nose breathing is our natural way of being. It must be maintained throughout every possible moment. Inside the nose we have hairs called cilia. The cilia act as a barrier to protect the body from environmental toxins. Good news, it ensures with each inhaled breath the air will be cleansed and purified.
Mouth Breathing Fosters Poor Health
Mouth breathing does the opposite of nose breathing. Mouth breathing causes increased anxiety. Open mouth breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system and lowers our oxygen saturation. In the result, hyperventilation. Mouth breathing causes many health issues over a period. The mouth has no filter system like the nose. With no protection we inhale environmental bacteria, and toxins.
If the mouth is open, the sealed container and internal pressure is diminished. Causing the breath to escape. Thus breaking the circuit and reducing abdominal pressure and tone. Without tone, journeying into a deeper breath will be inhibited. The diaphragm and other breathing functions will be compromised.
Mouth breathing is evidence of excess stress - indicative of ...
Can be rooted in mental and emotional challenges
Remember, the breath guides and influences our physical systems and their biological functions. Any physical issue has mental and emotional aspects.
Embryonic breathing can aid in the following;
Restoring physical imbalances
Healing emotional traumas
Help discover a deeper and more intimate connection to self.
Stomach Breathing evolves into the Breathless Breath
A primary principle, avoid breathing from the chest as much as possible. Focus gently breathing around the navel and stomach. Full breath from the stomach will take time to establish. Most of our breathing patterns have been locked in a chest breathing pattern for years. Adapting to stomach breathing takes patience, attention, intention and consistent practice.
No matter how difficult stomach breathing feels, be at the “place of middling” within the breath. Meaning, to meet yourself in the middle and progress from there.
I emphasize “gentle breathing” as the main goal. Ultimately reaching for effortless movement of breath from stomach to chest. This effortless breathing becomes established when you’re able to “breathe without breathing.”
Stillness of breath cultivates a non-thinking mind. This breath calls for full concentration. Thus distracting you from all other thoughts so nothing but your breathless breath exists.
Remaining focused on the breath is a meditative practice. The mind will wander. No need to fret, it happens to everyone. Refocus on your breath. Lie a meditation, the fine art of focusing on one theme. Feelings and sensations of breath is where it’s at.
Relaxing into the Body
Practice continually allowing the body to relax. The deeper the relaxation, the more benefits you will sow.
Perhaps we have been stressed, uptight and fatigued. At this point the body and mind have tightened up. Tissues have become contracted and contorted. This new level of intentional relaxation will unwind those tissues and subdue the mind. In turn will improve breath and health.
Feel yourself sinking into the earth. Become rooted and connected to the ground. Especially when exhaling. Make sure you release and empty the air from the stomach. But not fully empty so it causes you to gasp for breath and deregulates your breathing rhythm.
Continue to relax the body and mind. Locate or detect an area that has yet to be released. However, relaxing the head, shoulders, chest, back, arms, hands, hips, glutes, legs and feet further. Relax the entire body with a deeper penetration of stomach and breath. Focus on the stomach area.
Contraction of stomach and pelvic areas
In normal everyday breathing, the diaphragm contracts and the stomach expands on inhalation. On exhalation the diaphragm relaxes and the stomach shrinks. With embryonic breathing, the opposite occurs. Hence the term, “reverse breathing.”
When inhaling, there is an awareness of the upper, lower and sides of the stomach. The lower back is subtly drawn in from the pelvic floor and gluteal cleft area. Feel the Full relaxation of those areas on exhalation. Again, this is the opposite to normal breathing. The diaphragm moves down towards the stomach when inhaling. The lower area being lower stomach and dantien. The back area being lower back and hips. The sides being lower ribs and obliques.
We can call this the four corners or four points of abdominal containment. Make sure as you inhale, gently contracting the pelvic floor muscles and gluteal cleft area. Feel the gentle inner pressure against the four corners of the diaphragm, lower stomach, sides and back.
The subtle contraction of the lower pelvic muscles on inhalation helps...
Contain the breath within the stomach
Minimise chest responses
Assists in building pressure and maintaining tone.
On exhaling through the nose the muscles relax. Abdominal pressure temporarily subsides ready for the next inhalation and deeper tone. The most beneficial part of the four corner concept is to contract the lower pelvic area. Gently pucker up the sphincter. As previously mentioned, this aspect helps contain the pressure and tone within the stomach and pelvic area.
Mind and Dantien Concentration
Essentially you're using your mind to focus on your body. This focus directs energy mainly to the stomach and dantien (lower abdomen) area. The mind body intention and concentration integrates the two as one.
Ultimately, mind body fusion brings you into the present moment. The place where change happens and healing begins!
The ultimate objective, to hold or contain the breath without breathing. When passively exhaling, maintain a breath hold for 10 seconds to 30 seconds. The number of seconds depends on your capacity to hold the breath. Where the breathless breath ultimately develops and becomes the purpose of the embryonic breathing practice. It's the essential goal behind this practice. Your capacity to hold the breath transforms your health.
How much you exhale becomes the key to maintaining the pressure and tone within the stomach area. Become aware not allow a fast exhalation or gasp for air after the breath hold. This will diminish tone and loss of air from the stomach container. When this happens, the breath was held for too long. The idea is to maintain normal breathing as much as possible. Once another breath is needed, then most of the air will remain within the stomach pocket.
The first step, lay down on your back. Arms to side. Relax and breath normally for one to two minutes. Solidify and call in your healing intention to harness full attention to yourself.
Once relaxed, focus your attention above and around the navel. Gently breathe from the navel area. At first it may feel awkward or difficult to release the chest. But practice to progress.
Throughout the practice, focus primarily on and in the stomach. Occasionally pay attention to areas of the body that are not fully relaxed. Release and relax those areas.
When exhaling, feel the stomach tissues relax. There will be occasions when you physically feel the stomach tissues release. Releasing the tissues give evidence of the genuine work you're doing in it’s absolute expression! Do not force the exhalation. Merely allow the constant relaxation of the stomach and bodily areas.
TIP: Do not force the air out. Gentle squeeze the stomach to expel more air. The squeeze can be nearly physically imperceptible and more of a mindful intention of expulsion.
Increase the breath hold times as you deepen. Never hold for too long where you have to gasp for air and upset the breathing rhythm. The hold should be to the point where you can maintain relaxation. Conversely, hold enough so it’s slightly challenging to breathe.
There is no need to hold every breath. It can become too intense to maintain and can lose your breathing rhythm. Hold the breath longer every three to four breaths where it's more comfortable. Go at your own pace. The last thing you want to do is to force the breath. A force will usually cause frustration or impatience. Accept the experience with grace and ease.
With each inhalation, gently draw in pelvic floor muscles. Feel the four points enclosing, contracting and the stomach pressure increase. When exhaling, consciously release more breath than you would in normal exhaling. There is a slight push to empty out excess air. This is where the oxygen and carbon dioxide ratio change.
Without explaining this process to greater depth, know when exhaling more than you would in a normal breath, there is a greater release of carbon dioxide. This will enhance oxygen saturation. In turn, red blood cells and hemoglobin will elevate. Immediately improving your breathing rhythm.
The length of a practice session is determined by your mental and emotional capacity. Do what you can as the practice can be intense. Some days I have monumental sessions where bigger releases occur. Other times it seems I'm in a maintenance experience. Each breathing session adds up to progress you forward!
Once complete, thank yourself. Be in gratitude for taking the time and energy to practice and heal. After all, you're worth it?
Notice how you feel. Perhaps lighter? More energised? Less mind chatter and breathing easier? Feeling the benefits will encourage and inspire you to continue.
De-stress your mind and body and put the breathing technique into practice. In a video, Wayne demonstrates breathing and other techniques. Sign up to watch now >