Updated: Jun 18, 2021
Coherent Breathing is a form of breathing that involves taking long slow breaths - even slow breaths. Deep breathing helps to calm the body through its effect on the autonomic nervous system. It is also called equalising breath.
Use this form of breath as a regular practice, best after yoga, fitness, or any kind of movement practice like walking. When the body is in either agitated states of fight/flight or in freezing mode then it is best to move first before you apply any breathing techniques. This brings energetic release to the body, mind and emotions and invites them to shift more sustainably into rest/digest states of the nervous system.
Do something to get your nervous system out of the unhealthy mobilization or immobilization and if it is jumping up and down or circling your arms.
And then ----- only then -------- tune into the airy bliss zone!
If you are interested in practicing coherent breathing, the following steps will show you how to get started
Find a comfortable position.
Place one hand on your stomach.
Focus on your natural breaths.
Breath in for four seconds and then out for four seconds. Do this for one minute.
Repeat, but extend your inhales and exhales to five seconds.
Repeat again, extending further to six seconds.
During this process, keep your hand on your belly to make sure that you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest.
Don't try to force the breath or try to take in more air. This will happen naturally as you lengthen your breaths and get used to this way of breathing.
The Breathing App
This is an amazing simple yet very efficient tool I work with private clients and also in group classes. The effect I see and the feedback I get proves how equalising your breaths soothes you and your nervous system. Up to 100%!
You can train your breathing rhythm and access the power of calm.
That involves regular application and practice 5-10 Min. everyday will do.
This breath medicine is for free.
You hear with this app, that there are 2 comfortable tones .You can vary the length of your breathing practice. The high tone is for inhalation and the lower tone for the exhalation. Try out the different breathing rhythms and observe the effect on your own body.
Enjoy your research and sharpen your observation how you shift into calm!
How Coherent Breathing Works
Your vagus nerve runs from your brain all the way down through to the opening of your diaphragm to the gut, and its purpose is to send signals to adjust the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system that form the ANS. This has effects on heart rate, digestion, and general feelings of being calm. In general, your vagus nerve has the job of slowing down your heart when it speeds up, to keep it at a steady resilient rate of 70 to 100.
The word ‘vagus’ actually means wandering’ in Latin—and that's exactly what the vagus nerve does. It wanders down the body, touching the heart and almost all major organs on its way, like your lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, fertility organs, and pancreas. It also affects your face, neck, ears, and tongue.
The vagus nerve regulates breathing, heart rate, muscles, digestion, circulation, and even the vocal cords.
Hack your nervous system
This is why the easiest way to activate your vagus nerve to put the neural brake on a racing heart is to slow down your breath.
You can do something within your conscious control that has an effect on processes that you otherwise can't directly control.
Research is still in its infancy regarding the effects of coherent breathing; however, there is lots of promising news.
It is known that this type of breathing may be helpful for
immune system response
post-traumatic stress disorder
and attention deficit disorder.
‘Vagusstoff’ (acetylcholine) is like a tranquilizer that you can self-administer simply by taking slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths.
In 1921, a German physiologist, Otto Loewi, discovered that stimulating the vagus nerve caused a reduction in heart rate by triggering the release of a substance he coined ‘Vagusstoff’ (German for ‘Vagus Substance’), now known as acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter in our nervous system.
Since then, researchers have discovered a lot more about the vagus nerve and the role it plays in our health and in our body. For example, in the early 1990s, physicians began to notice that electrical stimulation of this nerve reduces the rate of epileptic seizures and helps with depressive symptoms. Vagal tone, or the strength of your vagus nerve, is connected to inflammation, immune system regulation, metabolism, and emotional regulation. All of these are important for our body’s normal functioning.
Low vagal tone is associated with poor emotional and attentional regulation, inflammation, depression. Healthy vagal tone is associated with the opposite: positive emotions and psychological balance. Some studies have even shown that increasing vagal tone could be helpful in treating addiction and certain cravings.
And you can consciously influence yourself and how you feel through this simple and regular practice of the breath.