Soma Breathing is the easiest way to calm for many who find meditation something they’re just not quite ready for.
Soma Breathing is the perfect way to relax, de-stress and force an internal chemical reaction on the body from within. And all you have to do is breath.
Almost sounded too good to be true when I was introduced to it at a retreat a few months ago.
The technical explanation for the way Soma Breathing works is that it is intermittent hypoxic training, rythmic breathing and relaxation all at once.
According to a multitude of websites about deep breathing and Soma breathing, studies have shown it increases alpha brain waves, so it reduces anxiety and depression, and Soma breathing strengthens the nervous system.
Slowing the breath and therefore slower breathing increases heart rate variability, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and alpha brain wave activity. All of which helps us slow our thoughts, and relax our bodies.
Many advocates claim Soma Breathing is better than meditation – I would definitely say it is easier, especially during times of great stress, as the breathing combined with the drum beat on my recording really helps me forget about my thoughts as well as the world around me.
In practicality, with Soma Breathing, you change your breathing in a deliberate controlled way for at least 20 minutes.
I use a recording which has the benefit of a voice talking me through the breathing exercises (inhale for 2, exhale for 2 etc) , as well as an ongoing drum beat, another element which helps calm my mental space and also becomes a dull mantra that captures my attention.
Drumming is said to mimic the rhythms we all became accustomed to while developing in our mother’s wombs, and is therefore credited with helping us relax quickly and easily.
So a drum beat, subtle music and inhale, exhale with the occasional hold of the breath, then release, then hold again then inhale and exhale and I find 20 minutes goes by very quickly.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to relax, this is it. The internet and you tube have plenty of free soma breathing exercises, and I would definitely recommend downloading one and giving it a try. And the beauty is it is a great de-stressing technique to do with a friend, and it can be a joy sharing how chilled – and even elated- you both feel at the end.