In my extensive work with women, what I've Iearned is that regardless of what we're looking for or hoping to achieve, the one thing we all have in common is that we want stuff simplified; practical things that can be applied easily to help us achieve and maintain our goals, no matter what that may be.
And in my humble opinion, the most powerful and pragmatic practice we can use daily for our emotional and mental wellness is . . .
Obviously breathing is something that most of us aren't actually conscious of. We do it naturally without thought, despite knowing how vital it is.
And I wasn't aware of how incredibly powerful the breath is until I experienced my first pregnancy yoga class back in 2010.
I wasn't into a lot of the alternative suggestions, but I openly attribute all 3 of my calm and controlled natural home births to what I learned in those classes.
I remember during active labour of my second child (who was a hefty 10 pounder, with a huge head circumference) my midwife saying "whatever you're doing, keep doing that" and at that moment, I KNEW it was all about my breath.
For every long exhale I closed my eyes and visualised the baby bearing down through the birth canal, calmly. I inhaled long and slow through my nose as much as I could, so that my exhale would be long, controlled and steady through my mouth.
This sped up the process and my baby was born effortlessly, within just 3 hours and with no intervention.
I never considered it again until I suffered anxiety and panic attacks following my mother's death several years later and began using a simple controlled breathing technique during this period.
Now I fully appreciate that one of the easiest and most direct forms of calming your stress levels, anxiety and physical body is through controlled breathing.
These exercises can greatly impact your overall well-being by lowering blood pressure, promoting feelings of calm and relaxation, relieving stress and anxiety, just to name a few.
If you'd like to learn more about the art of controlled inhaling and exhaling, hit the message button and I'll send you a detailed list of techniques you can try at home.