It’s Time to Take a Deep Breath. Here’s How. – The Wall Street Journal

During a session of fitness phenom Taryn Toomeys The Class workout, after a grueling series of jumping jacks and squats, participants are instructed to take a moment and focus intently on their breathing. The directive is intended not to help them catch their breaththeyre generally pantingbut to make them conscious of it. In the face of a challenge, the mind often gets loud with complaints, excuses and judgements, thereby limiting us, says Natalie Kuhn, a founding teacher and the vice president of programming at The Class. Becoming aware of your breath and slowing it down actually slows down the thoughts, she says. The practice of returning our attention to the breath is what helps us self-regulate.

A general rule of thumb is that humans can go for about three weeks without food, three days without water and only three minutes without oxygen, says Ashley Neese, a California-based author and breathwork teacher. Yet, as vital as it is for our health, breath is not something that many of us think about; its simply a physical inevitability. We assume, at our peril, that breathing is a passive action, just something that we do: breathe, live; stop breathing, die, James Nestor writes in his recent book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. But breathing is not binary.

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It's Time to Take a Deep Breath. Here's How. - The Wall Street Journal

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