Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

3. Cultivate nose-based breathing

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

Suspending movement and remaining still does not necessarily equate to being restful. You may pause movement, sit still, and feel restless, mobilized, and tense.

This practice, focusing on nose-based breathing, along with the subsequent practices in this mini-course, is designed to facilitate the process of physically and mentally slowing down. The goal is to gradually activate Parasympathetic Rest during the practice of stillness. As your restfulness deepens, your NeuroCalmness increases.

Nose or mouth-based breathing

Nose-based breathing is essential to the practice of stillness. Inhaling and exhaling through your nose, with your mouth gently closed, facilitates restfulness, and has a lasting calming and comforting effect.

Mouth-based breathing, on the other hand, has more of a relieving effect. Mouth-based breathing can therefore be helpful for a quick, but often temporary, release of stress and tension. However, only nose-based breathing cultivates the state of restful stillness.

This practice enables you to compare the effects of mouth and nose-based breathing. It begins and ends with nose-based breathing to promote this calming and comforting type of breath.

If you find it hard to breathe through your nose due to illness or any other reason, it’s okay to start your practice by breathing through your mouth. However, it is recommended to transition to nose-based breath as soon as you can.

Deep breaths

Detecting tension and stress, often due to chronic protective Sympathetic Mobilization, is common when you begin practicing stillness. For this reason, natural breathing is complemented by deep breaths in this practice. Taking deep breaths helps release tension and stress, facilitating the activation of Parasympathetic Rest.

Throughout all stillness practices, if you feel the urge to take one or more deep breaths, feel free to do so, and then continue with the practice.

It is worth noting that for some individuals, taking deep breaths through the mouth can offer more immediate relief from tension and stress than nose-based deep breaths. Others may find that even for stress relief, a controlled deep breath with a slow exhale through the nose is more beneficial.

It is important to distinguish between deep breathing, where you consciously control your inhale and exhale, and natural breathing, where you simply observe the breath without trying to control it. After taking deep breaths to release stress and tension, it is recommended to transition back to natural, nose-based breathing to encourage Parasympathetic Rest and increase NeuroCalmness.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I breathe through my nose, while keeping my mouth gently closed?
  • Can I cultivate nose-based natural breathing to facilitate restful stillness?
  • Can I combine natural breathing and taking deep breaths to facilitate restful stillness?
  • Can I explore nose-based and mouth-based deep breaths to facilitate restful stillness, especially when I experience chronic tension, and stress?
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