Day 27: Two Tools For Better Breathing and one is FREE!
As we draw to a close of our 30 Days of Practice, here’s two simple resources I have found instrumental in helping get deeper into my breath and manage stress, concentration and anxiety - and one is free!
Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Enhance Concentration, and Balance your Emotions. (Shambhala Publications)
Written by American physicians Dr. Richard P Brown MD and Dr. Patricia L Gerbarg MD, this is my #1 go-to for breathwork.
Using a combination of research, instruction, examples and case studies, Brown and Gerbarg break down the topic in a no-nonsense format that is easy to understand. The paperback version also comes with a useful CD format of ten voice and sound guided exercises, narrated by Dr Brown’s relaxing tone, to help make sense of the exercises.
The Appendix contains a terrific resource outlining how and when to use each technique. The easy to read format details what condition the breath technique can help (ADD, mental fatigue etc) what time of day is best, how often, and common effects.
So whether you are just starting to take an interest in how breathing can help you stay focused in business situations, or you are a loyal student of pranayama, it’s a great resource to improve your practice. Available from Shambhala Publications for $19.95 plus handling. If you’re going to buy a breath book, make it this one.
Developed by New York Ashtanga yoga teacher Eddie Stern, in conjunction with Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, musician Moby, and app developer Sergey Varichev, the app’s simplicity is a huge part of its appeal.
Literally called “The Breathing App”, all you need to choose is set the duration of your session (1-30 minutes), the cadence of your inhale and exhale (2:3, 3:4, 4:6, 5:5, 6:6, 5:7) and the sound or visual cue you want to observe. And away you go!
I prefer to close my eyes in breath work so enjoy Moby’s “sound” option to the “clock”, but you can switch it up, depending on your mood and surrounds.
I’ve set the 6:6 timer to the duration of my bus ride home after a long day at work, and absolutely can attest to arriving at my stop far more refreshed than listening to a podcast or a Spotify playlist. Simply because my breath felt balanced and my head was clear. The best part is it’s FREE, and available from the App Store.
We hope this is helpful, and if you want to read more on breathwork, check out these posts from our series: