Have you ever forgotten to breath?
We're only human, so we can all forget how to breathe for any number of reasons despite years of practice.
We've all done this, whether we care to admit it or not.
Sometimes the cause is silly, like when I get so caught up in telling a story.
The one about that time I was in line at the grocery store and thought I saw Jameela Jamil buying a pack of frozen yogurt at the next check-out over but how could that possibly be her in a place like this only to realize I've been relying on one slow exhale the entire time in an effort to keep hold of the conversation spotlight..
Sometimes the culprit is much more unpleasant, like when you get heart-stopping bad news about a loved one and become so overwhelmed your body seems to freeze in place.
So I'm here to share with you one of my favorite ways to breathe when you inevitably forget how to do so.
I've used this in the past to guide me from a crisis situation to a calm and safe state.
This breathing technique can be modified in any way, and can be done in a comfortable sitting, standing, or horizontal position.
Take as many or as few breaths as needed.
There is no time limit.
Just listen to your body...
The breathing technique is known in the yoga community as Lion's Breath.
To engage in this type of pranayama, or a yoga breathing technique, start by inhaling through your nose for a count of three and then exhaling through the mouth for another three, making sure you're opening wide and sticking your tongue out while roaring.
I'm dead serious, this works.
Even if this breathing method seems questionable, the sheer ridiculousness of the whole ordeal will likely help you crack a smile in the process and make the resulting breathing all-the-more easier.
It's even more fun and effective doing this with someone else. My partner and I compete trying to out-roar each other every time we've done this and we both end up breaking down from laughter.
May I suggest this as an add on to the Couple's Bucket List?
For maximum silliness, I'd suggest using your hands like claws and engaging in prolonged eye contact.
Really feel the lion; become the lion.
If you're not feeling the lion, no worries. Try channeling your inner dragon. Let your inner child (or real child) have fun exploring creative ways of breathing.
Turn a simple automated daily thing into an adventure with a storytelling element.
It all starts with the breath, the roots and foundation of your whole being. Taking your breathing seriously with some silliness sprinkled in is the perfect way to spice up your self care.
Looking for more? Check out The Self Care Bucket List for a wealth of ideas and activities to engage in after you've mastered your breath.
Watch this video by Well with Hels to see this breathing technique in action:
Let me know in the comments how this kind of breathing helped you feel calmer and more centered! How did you channel your inner lion?