One size fits all?  – How breathing rate impacts our mind and emotions

It is important to understand that each person is unique. This means what we resonate with is also unique.  This applies to our physiology as well. In other words, one size does NOT fit everyone when it comes to personalized Life Coaching or Healing intervention. 

Why personalised intervention is important ?

Lets focus only on breathing for the purpose of this write-up (though same applies to other aspects as well).  Our heart rate variability (HRV) plays a very important role in our autonomic function and more importantly our ability to withstand stress and also in our ability to maintain balanced emotions !!   Similar to our autonomic nervous system, our heart is NOT in our direct control. However, one of the means by which we can manage our heart rate (and its variability) is through breath.   This is the reason why breathing (and of course chanting) is given a very high importance in all yogic practices.

How this connects to Wellness ?

It is critical to work on all aspects of our existence (read this if you are not familiar with Pancha Kosha) when we are talking about wellness. Specifically, it is important to balance our physical body (annamaya kosha), energy body (pranamaya kosha) and mental body (manomaya kosha) – to begin with.  At the same time, it is important to understand that an imbalance in any of the sheath needs intervention at all the levels. For example, an imbalance in the mind needs an intervention at the energy levels as well and this is where the breathing, singing bowl vibrations (in a systematic way) makes a big difference – when we want to intervene at the pranamaya kosha.  Of course, we work on the physical body and mental body at the same time as well.

At Wellness Space, we first understand your overall imbalance (what is the imbalance, where is the imbalance) and then work to address the imbalance.

Still quite unsure?

Check out the stories of a meditator who felt that deep meditation is achieved AFTER loud (and long duration) chanting.  This person’s HRV was not as good during meditation since he took longer breaths (since he made loud and long chants).  After making an intervention (by understanding HRV), the quality of meditation improved and the person felt very satisfied and realised where/how he needed to intervene !  The calculations for this example are a bit complex (topic for another short article).  For now, lets look at couple of more examples

Example 1: Sportsperson in 20s

This sportsperson felt that she felt very relaxed at the breathing rate of about 15 to 20 seconds per breath (which means he would take only 3 to 4 breaths per seconds!! Do not try this it could be problematic for most of us !).  After measuring the HRV parameters, the person reduced the breathing rate to about 12 seconds per breath (about 5 breaths/minute) since that’s the optimum rate at which the person’s physiology worked well and he shifted to this  breathing rate for achieving calmness and relaxation.   

Example 2 – A person in 40s

For this person, it was all about knowing what breathing rate would maximize relaxation and increase the likelihood of balanced emotions.  
Both the examples above – as you can see by now – converge to breathing duration of about 10 to 12 seconds per breath. Please see the link below if you want to read more about this. While 10-12 seconds per breath is a good number, the exact number varies from person to person.

Keen to learn more about this?

You can join Nada Yoga workshops conducted by Gunjan Trivedi or take an appointment to do your own measurements and understand what works for you !

Gunjan Trivedi ([email protected])

Life Coach   +91.95.7474.2288

For further reading, click here.


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