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B.R.E.A.T.H.E: The Neuroscience of Breathing Techniques TED talk

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B.R.E.A.T.H.E: The Neuroscience of Breathing Techniques TED talk

This is an extra long TED talk by Neuroscientist Alan Watkins talking about how to “Be Brilliant Every Single Day”.

In the second half he talks about how breathing techniques work physiologically. He mentions that there are 12 different ways that the breath can be adjusted, but only talked about the most important three:

  1. Rhythmically
  2. Smoothly
  3. Location of the focus during the breath (in the center of the chest)

To remember this, Dr Watkins uses the acronym B.R.E.A.T.H.E:

  • Breathe
  • Regularly
  • Through the
  • Heart
  • Everyday

He also shows a graph which describes two variances of experience, one being the Sympathetic (flight/fight) neurological pattern and the Parasympathetic (rest/digest) pattern. His explanation about how where we are on that trajectory is less important than the Negative (cortisol driven) emotional system vs. the Positive (DHEA driven) emotional system trajectory was quite fascinating. He explains that we can use breathing techniques to bring us to the center of the Negative/Positive Emotional system, but that to be optimal we need to be able to regulate our emotional state and stay in the positive. This makes sense to me as a meditation instructor because the breathing techniques are so often used in conjunction with deeper emotionally based meditation techniques such as METTA meditation, Tonglen and other methods of training ourselves to emote love and peace.

Download a free Meditation Track from the Unwind your Mind meditation CD here.

Here’s to kissing the ground with our feet this joyful spring! -Karah Pino, MAcOM

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By Karah Pino

A versatile communicator, critical thinker and far sighted problem solver. Trained in creative thinking with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Art including Metalwork, Multimedia Sculpture and Digital Design. Earned a clinical Master’s degree in East Asian Medical Practices and Principles such as holistic creativity and nature based systems. Trained in shamanism, trauma recovery, naturopathy and indigenous wisdom through Navajo Wisdom Keeper Patricia Anne Davis, learning the Indigenous Ceremonial Change Process for wellness restoration and harmonious living.

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