Heart Breathing Technique
All aerobic creatures need oxygen for cellular respiration, which uses the oxygen to break down foods for energy and produces carbon dioxide as a waste product. Breathing, or “external respiration”, brings air into the lungs where gas exchange takes place in the alveoli through diffusion. The body’s circulatory system transports these gasses to and from the cells, where “cellular respiration” takes place.
The breathing of all vertebrates with lungs consists of repetitive cycles of inhalation and exhalation through a highly branched system of tubes or airways which lead from the nose to the alveoli. The number of respiratory cycles per minute is the breathing or respiratory rate, and is one of the four primary vital signs of life. Under normal conditions the breathing depth and rate is automatically, and unconsciously, controlled by several homeostatic mechanisms which keep the partial pressures of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the arterial blood constant. Keeping the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the arterial blood unchanged under a wide variety of physiological circumstances, contributes significantly to tight control of the pH of the extracellular fluids(ECF). Over-breathing (hyperventilation) and under-breathing (hypoventilation), which decrease and increase the arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide respectively, cause a rise in the pH of ECF in the first case, and a lowering of the pH in the second. Both cause distressing symptoms.
Breathing has other important functions. It provides a mechanism for speech, laughter and similar expressions of the emotions. It is also used for reflexes such as yawning, coughing and sneezing. Animals that cannot thermoregulate by perspiration, because they lack sufficient sweat glands, may lose heat by evaporation through panting.
The word “spirit” comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath. Historically, breath has often been considered in terms of the concept of life force. The Hebrew Bible refers to God breathing the breath of life into clay to make Adam a living soul (nephesh). It also refers to the breath as returning to God when a mortal dies. The terms spirit, prana, the Polynesian mana, the Hebrew ruach and the psyche in psychology are related to the concept of breath.
In T’ai chi, aerobic exercise is combined with specific breathing exercises to strengthen the diaphragm muscles, improve posture and make better use of the body’s Qi, (energy). Different forms of meditation, and yoga advocate various breathing methods. A form of Buddhist meditation called anapanasati meaning mindfulness of breath was first introduced by Buddha. Breathing disciplines are incorporated into meditation, certain forms of yoga such as pranayama, and the Buteyko method as a treatment for asthma and other conditions.
In music, some wind instrument players use a technique called circular breathing. Singers also rely on breath control. Common cultural expressions related to breathing include: “to catch my breath”, “took my breath away”, “inspiration”, “to expire”, “get my breath back”.
Breathing and Mood
Certain breathing patterns have a tendency to occur with certain moods. Due to this relationship, practitioners of various disciplines consider that they can encourage the occurrence of a particular mood by adopting the breathing pattern that it most commonly occurs in conjunction with. For instance, and perhaps the most common recommendation, is that deeper breathing which utilizes the diaphragm and abdomen more can encourage a more relaxed and confident mood. Practitioners of different disciplines often interpret the importance of breathing regulation and its perceived influence on mood in different ways. Buddhists may consider that it helps precipitate a sense of inner-peace, holistic healers that it encourages an overall state of health and business advisers that it provides relief from work based stress.
What is Intuition?
Intuition is the process of perceiving or knowing something without conscious reasoning: knowledge of events such as an act of nature that has yet to happen; or knowledge of a distant material object such as an as-yet unseen obstruction blocking the highway ahead. Researchers with the Institute of HeartMath and many others who have conducted numerous controlled and scientifically validated studies over more than half a century have expanded the definition of intuition to include not only conscious perception by the mind alone, but also by the body’s entire psychophysiological system. This unconscious perception often is evidenced by subtle changes in emotions and measurable physiological changes that can be detected throughout the body, according to the study Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: McCraty, Atkinson and Bradley, 2004.
At the center of this ability is the human heart, which encompasses a degree of intelligence whose sophistication and vastness we are continuing to understand and explore. We now know this intelligence may be cultivated to our advantage in many ways.
“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
– Albert Einstein, 1879-1955
“Heart intuition or intelligence brings the freedom and power to accomplish what the mind, even with all the disciplines or affirmations in the world, cannot do if it’s out of sync with the heart.”
– The HeartMath Solution, 1999, Childre and Martin
Taking into account the array of intuition research, along with findings from years of experimentation at its research facilities in Boulder Creek, Calif., and elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad, HeartMath theorizes that intuitive abilities we’re unable to attribute to subconsciously stored memories and experiences or to the conscious brain’s analytic processes, make sense in another context: The body is connected by sensory perception to a field of energy that enfolds the information we attribute to intuition.
To help us understand this concept consider an established scientific fact in the area of quantum physics that could not be explained by classical physics in the early 20th century: We know there is virtually instantaneous communication of information in the subatomic world between particles separated by vast regions of space and these particles act is if they have knowledge of events before they happen. This “nonlocal communication” seemingly exists outside the confines of space and time as we currently understand them.
Heart Breathing Technique
Conscious (mindful) breathing can be done anywhere and anytime. It can be done sitting down with eyes closed or standing up with eyes open.
1. Shift your attention or awareness to your heart area.
2. Think of your breath flowing in and out of your heart area. Breathe more deeply, rhythmically and slowly.
3. As you are breathing in this way feel the gratitude your heart has for giving it your attention and your breath. Think of your breath and your heart as two old friends. You may also think of somebody or something that you appreciate. Try to hold the feeling of appreciation or gratitude while heart breathing. This enhances the effects of well-being.
Doing this practice will help you get into a more positive emotional state. Your mind will become quieter. Relaxation will occur and your concentration will improve.
Opening the Heart with Energy
This method of breathing is simple yet powerful in its results. You will feel right away a relaxation and calming. This practice opens and softens your heart. It oxygenates your blood and brings fresh energy into your body and mind.
Heart Meditation Practices
Bringing our breath and awareness to our heart area brings our attention into our body. This is a good thing. You want to be in touch with your body. It conveys messages to you from your heart and it lets you know how you are doing.
Transcendental meditations will take you out of your body but in heart meditation we stay present in our bodies, centered in the heart. We also use the breath to keep us grounded inside the meditation. It is healthy to feel your body and heart practices connect you emotionally and spiritually as well.