The breath is fundamental to human life. Conscious Connected Breathing (CCB) is a practice, which develops an awareness and ability to use the breath in all areas of life.
There are different ways to use the breath as a tool for the mind and body for different effects. This essay will give you an introduction Conscious Connected Breathing. How it is used as a tool of transformation. How it can be used in both a soothing or stimulating process. I will introduce the idea of how I can can used as a tool to augment any process we are engaging with. Then a brief overview of some of the physiological benefits and how these are quilted to different states of consciousness.
The breath can be used as our primary resource. It can be both unconscious autonomicaly flowing in reaction to what we perceive. Consciously observed without controlling the flow. Or Consciously focused and shaped in way that allows us respond to our environment.
There is much to gain from training awareness of the breath. Then developing skill in it’s use. The same as learning to use any other technology or instrument. This inner technology can allow you to sense how you are. Then choose your response. It is the same body, breath and nervous system we use to perceive our physical, mental, emotional and social environments. (link to future PMES post)
As we inhale our heart speeds up. When we exhale our heart slows down. i. An awareness of this rhythm develops a coherent relationship with our breath and heart. The heart is an epicenter of our nervous system ii. Learning to tune into the heart and perceive the whole body as the brain can open you up full body thinking and feeling.
CCB is a technique that involves laying down. Using an active inhale. connecting into a passive exhale. (link to future post) This creates a rhythmic cycle in each breath of breathing fully with awareness into what is being perceived, then relaxing. Thus giving the nervous system the direct experience of any physical perception and it’s corresponding psychological state or structure. The quilted thought, feeling, sensation, emotion, memory, idea, or vision. Past, present or future. It is important to not the difference between distinction and disassociation in process. So as to create an experience of being able to let go whilst nervous systems attuned in safe relation out of the charge of any perception.
The active inhale vertically lifts and expands connecting the nerve plexuses in upper thoracic, mid ribs, and the abdomen. This cycle connects without a pause, releasing passively into the exhale. Releasing what is being sensed without having to force or finish the exhale. Then consciously lifting up into the next inhale. This trains mental willpower and a ability to focus on the breath.
The passive exhale releases any tension bought into awareness. In contrast to giving force in an active exhale and expression to what is being perceived. This develops the ability to move into any perception, feel and acknowledge its correlating state and be able release with an ease.
Over time this trains the nervous system to be able to be in full relation and activation. Then instant passive release and acceptance. This sets a steady journey of letting go of any armouring and held reactions in the nervous system and myofasical web. (link to future post) With out having to express a story or navigate the thinking minds ego defenses.
Through a programme of sessions CCB develops the ability to increase Ventral Vagal Parasympathetic Response (active safe engagement in the nervous system iii.), This can be life changing and create an ability to connect fully with themselves and others. This work does take time. We advise people not breath on their own for more than 15 minutes until they have done at least 12, 1 hour guided session in person. This is in regards to using CCB as a long tool of transformation. It can be used for short periods with out the deep diving.
Whether splashing in the shallows or diving into the depths. It is important the person breathing is in control of their experience with a lenses of curiosity to what is being felt. Releasing any judgement of the process.
As well as awareness and agency of their experience it is important that they are in a safe environment. Ideally with their nervous system attuned to facilitators via Heart resonance, Mirror Neurons, and the Limbic system. One mammals nervous system signaling to another mammals that they are safe and okay in relation to what ever is being sensed. Attaching to different parts of the self, accepting and being accepted whilst in safe attachment.
Uncovering held patterns of suppression, repression or expression in the body is a process which needs to be attended to gently and with care. First creating an awareness of the journey and resources for a new framework of self to be created. Then finding a pace which is suits the individuals situation. In a worst case scenario this practice can re traumatise if someone relives a memory they did not know they had, or loses consciousness of their journey alongside. These risks are why breathing with a trained facilitator is important. Observing and guiding a breather with awareness and skill will help a person stay in a safe range of experience for their journey. Either in a one to one or group scenario. It is key to be in relation or community to support the integration of experiences. When a person is more familiar with CCB and has resources, awareness and support it can be safe them to breathe on their own. This is can be a profound journey of exploring the self.
As with all tools, appropriate use for the appropriate time applies. The above paragraphs apply to it being used as a tool of transformation. There are many ways to use Conscious Connected Breathing. Here are a few of them:
It can be used effectively for short periods of time.
Pre-work out priming and post-work out recovery.
To induce rest and sleep or to vitalise and energise.
Finding the natural rhythm of the breath, can create an experience where it “feels like your being breathed” In the range of a 4:4-6:6 Ratio creates an adaptable state for the nervous system.
Faster than 4:4 is a stimulating breath builds charge in the system and enters the sympathetic nervous system.
Breathing slower than 6:6 can journey deep into parasympathetic response.
Nasal Breathing CCB Is much more gentle than mouth breathing and is beneficial for developing a healthy habit steady nasal breathing through the day (link to future post)
Mouth Breathing CCB is much more stimulating. It can be looked at as cardiovascular exercise with out the muscular effort. (link to future post)
These are a few of the many physiological benefits:
Increased Oxygen into the body.
Strengthening, toning and isolating of breathing muscles.
When done fast it lowers the PH of the blood – alkalising. An alkaline state being beneficial for flow of electrol and hormonal messages around the body. iv.
When done slowly it raises CO2 levels. Increasing our tolerance to CO2. Thus creating a slower, rate of breathing. Alongside raising the PH of the blood creating an acidic state. Increasing our tolerance to lactic, and carbonic acid. Developing the body’s ability to go in both directions on the PH and return to homeostasis. (Link to future post)
Develop ability to enter in to and out of a wider spectrum of nervous system arousal.
Develops familiarity with a wider array of associated brainwave states and endocrine responses. Then over time ability to neurocept and distinguish these states integrating into wider life.(Link to future post)
One has more freedom in life by having the direct experience of being able to move in and out of all states of physiological states and their associated states of consciousness.
CCB also works on an energetic level. If this is not in your worldview. I invite you to suspend your disbelief. There are many maps and labels for energy from different traditions: Prana, Chi, Ki, Lung, Meghin, Vital force, Libido. However you wish to describe energy. It is an layer of experience we all have access to. Conscious Connect Breathing increases both the awareness and the free flow of the energetic body. (link to future post)
In conclusion Conscious Connected Breathing develops the ability to actively inhale into any perception, and passively exhale. Creating an ease in letting go. This post is a brief overview of what CCB is, how it works, and how it can be used in your life. There is much more depth and subtlety about this practice and other ways to use the breath which you can learn through direct experience.
For group sessions or indvidual coaching. Reach out. Jezgkane@gmail.com
I invite you to consider using the breath as a primary resource in all areas of life. When you are familiar with the breath you can use it to:
Observe how you are in the moment.
Amplify the natural rhythm as a tool to learn about ourselves. Bringing into focus, the reaction to what your are perceiving.
Then choose your response. Do you need to Rest, Refocus or Recharge
What if you had your breath as the gears, accelerator and brake for your vehicle?
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