The 100 Breaths
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
How to start
Commit yourself to doing it for a short period like a week, or a month. If you’re feeling better at that point, then keep on. Slow deep breathing like this is not natural . Like any new skill, it takes practice!
Find a place you can sit comfortably with your back straight and supported by your spine. The sofa works for me. Don’t lie down because: 1) you can’t inhale as deeply and 2) you’ll fall asleep.
Find a time where you won’t be distracted or interrupted for 20-50 minutes. As you learn to breath more slowly the time it takes to do 100 breaths increases.
Don't try to do this after a large meal. Before you eat gives better results.
Early winter mornings before the heat is on I also have a blanket.
If your pants stop your belly from fully inflating, undo them.
The 100 Breaths
Close your eyes and start with a normal out breath and count it as zero.
Breathe in as slowly as possible until your lungs are full but not straining. Count 1
Breathe out as slowly as possible until your lungs are empty but not straining. Count 1.
Carry on to 100. Don’t leap up when you are done. Take a few minutes to come back.
Things to notice
You’re first breaths, as many as 10-15 won’t be particularly long, but they will tend to get longer and slower as you go on.
On the out breath feel all your muscles relaxing as if they are melting.
All this diaphragm movement often makes me burp and/or yawn. Let it happen and carry on.
I also twitch and shake at some point, every time I do this. Let it go...Surrender to the experience of deeply relaxing.
Your “monkey mind” will tell you lots of things you should be remembering or doing or regretting, etc. Try not to follow it and focus on the process of slow inhales and exhales, and the count.
If you lose count just pick up somewhere close to where you know you were.
Anything is permitted – scratch an itch, sneeze, sigh, twitch, memories and images in your mind. Then breathe and count again.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes. There are no prizes for finishing sooner or later.
Official Internet Benefits of Deep Breathing
1) Decreases stress, increases calm. When you become stressed or anxious, your brain releases cortisol, the “stress hormone.” By taking deep breaths, your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters our blood stream and helps the brain relax. Deep breathing also raises the level of endorphins, the “feel good” chemical.
2) Relieves pain The release of endorphins reduces pain.
3) Stimulates the lymphatic system (Detoxifies the body). Breathing releases carbon monoxide. Breathing does a large part in of cleansing of the body of toxins.
4) Improves immunity. When your blood is fully oxygenated, it carries and absorbs nutrients and vitamins more efficiently.
5) Increases energy. The more oxygen that is in the blood, the better stamina we have.
6) Lowers blood pressure. As your muscles relax, this allows your blood vessels to dilate, which improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Deep breathing also slows and regulates the heart rate, which also helps with lowering your BP.
7) Improves digestion. The more you breathe deep, the more blood flow you will produce, which in turn allows your organs to function more effectively, including your intestines.
8) Helps support correct posture. Next time you breathe in, notice that you simultaneously lengthen and straighten your spine. When you take a deep breath in, your lungs take up maximum space, your diaphragm pulls down and your torso straightens.
Don't just take my word for it: How one hour of slow breathing changed my life
Guided Meditations - Start with #1 - the 5 minute guided meditation