The Power of the Breath
Its the most important thing that we do on average 20,000 times a day. Its the one thing we can’t live without yet most of us understand very little about it.
When I was first told about the power of the breath and how it could change the quality of not just my sexual experiences but my life I was very dismissive. Stubborn in fact. “I breath 24/7 already” I thought. I ignored it for two years. Then when I started to consciously work with the breath it changed everything and it continues to do so. The more I practice, the more benefits I gain.
Most of us learn to breath shallowly and quickly, sometimes called the “stress breath”. One of my teachers, Barbara Carrellas says that we breath just enough to stay alive. Though the lungs air capacity is about 5,000 millilitres, the average breath is about 500 millilitres focused in the top third of our lungs!
The wonderful Tantra teacher Diana Richardson writes about how sexual tension, shame and repression disturb our breath from a young age. This can be through a range of experiences from sexual trauma through to learning to masturbate quickly, quietly and in fear of being caught. These patterns of shallow breathing then continue into our adult lives.
You may recognise the following scenario. As your sexual arousal builds, your breathing gets more and more shallow and sometimes you may even hold your breath. The tension in your body increases. You may clench your fingers and curl your toes. If you do experience orgasm, the arousal is focused in your genitals and and if and when you orgasm, the arousal pops like a balloon and can be over in seconds. Minutes if you’re lucky. Breathing shallowly is how most of us learn to experience our sexual pleasure. It can be great, but it can also limit our sexual pleasure and even create sexual problems.
When we breath shallowly, we activate the side of the nervous system called the ‘sympathetic nervous system’ which is associated with the fight/flight response and cuts us off from what we are feeling. Breathing shallowly actively promotes stress and anxiety.
Yet when you breath deeply, it activates the ‘para sympathetic nervous system’ which instantly reduces stress and generates relaxation. The breath acts like an erotic pump, circulating your sexual arousal through the whole of your body. With this, your arousal can expand and grow. The more you breathe, the more sensations you can feel in your whole body. And as you feel more, it can deepen intimacy and connection with partners. This is why breath is your number one sex toy!
Not only does breathing have many benefits for your sexual pleasure, there are a plethora of health benefits from breathing deeply and engaging the diaphragm. An incredible 70% of toxins exit the body through the breath and when you’re not breathing properly this puts stress on the kidneys, liver and skin and more which promotes fatigue, stress and many other conditions.
Deep breathing massages the key internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, stomach, genitals and the heart with every breath and promotes lymph and blood flow. Deep breathing benefits other systems from digestion, to improving sleep and memory and is an instant source of both relaxation and energy.
I hope this has aroused your curiosity in the power of the breath. Try peppering your day with slow and deep breaths and see how it works for you.
I love to share simple techniques that can immediately make a difference to your pleasure and your life. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be writing more on the breath; how it can help with sexual challenges and increase your pleasure, how to unlearn shallow breathing patterns and different types of breath for you to play with.
If you’d like support with anything mentioned in this blog or any other sex and relationship issue, I offer a free 15 minute consultation so please get in touch.
Sarah Rose Bright