Optimal breathing: An essential tool for your health and wellbeing

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By Lina Salih Didi

Optimal breathing habits are essential for our health and wellbeing.

Notice your breathing patterns as you go about your day; they change from moment to moment to reflect your mental and emotional states.

Stressful situations constrict our breath and make them more shallow. Conversely, when we are at ease, the breath is allowed to flow languidly into the belly.

Belly breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and promotes the parasympathetic nervous system, which is better known as the rest and digest system. This system acts as a counterbalancing force to the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ nervous system that most of the modern world seems to be stuck in all the time, even after the workday (and workweek) ends.

The ills of being stuck in fight or flight mode are aplenty; high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, obesity, chronic inflammation, and the list goes on…

The good news is that the cure for these problems lies right beneath your nose! Breathing is the only biological activity governing our autonomic nervous system that is both voluntary and involuntary. No wonder then that the Ancients of the East developed complex breathing exercises that enabled them to manipulate their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual states.

Many breathing exercises exist, all of which serve different purposes. In this blog, I would like to share the 365 breathing technique with you.

This deceptively easy technique created by Dr David O’Hare has remarkable immediate and long-lasting effects which cannot be
understated; it reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone), increases DHEA (the only hormone that regularly reduces with age, thus giving it the nickname ‘youth hormone’), increases salivary IgA (immune system support), increases oxytocin secretion (a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure), increases alpha waves (brainwaves associated with calm, wakeful states and which aid memorization and learning), and more.

365 is a formula:
• 3 times a day
• 6 breaths per minute
• 5 minutes per session

Inhale through your nose for 5 counts, taking the breath into your belly. Exhale through gently pursed lips for 5 counts. Practice this exercise for 5 minutes, 3 times daily. This exercise is best practised first thing upon waking, before lunch, and at the end of the working day.

This exercise seems simple enough, and it is, but as with everything in life, consistency is key! I encourage you to give it a try and set your alarm three times a day, to begin with, while you establish a routine.

Go well and breathe easy!

Lina Salih Didi is a Breathwork Facilitator. She offers breathwork and energy healing sessions at Sen Wellness Clinic in London and via Zoom. To enquire about working with her, send a DM or email.

Lina

Coming from a lineage of healers, Lina works with somatic embodiment, breathwork, energetic healing, sound, and naturopathic nutrition. She channels her practice into words and thoughts to share with you. Her warmth and radiant energy will capture you through her words

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Claire White
Claire White
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I have just completed a 10 day retreat at Sen Wellness and having researched many options, I was drawn to this but it was way beyond my expectations, it was amazing. The yoga by Frances and the monk was incredible, the doctors were kind and helpful and all the staff could not have been more helpful. Special mention to treatments from Tanisha and the manager Sanath who got me out on the beach one evening to see the mother turtles. A dream come true in so many ways, left feeling refreshed,so much healthier in body and mind!! I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a reset.
britta barth
britta barth
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I had a wonderful stay and participated in the Signature Retreat. The resort is located in a very beautiful nature reserve. There is a beautiful beach for long nice walks and you also can see turtles.Meditation and Yoga were very also so good as were the ayurvedic treatments. I love it.The Signature Retreat led by Sam is a great, inspiring journey in itself - I can highly recommend.The ayurvedic food was delicious and the staff is great.I hope to go soon again to this wonderful place.Mandy thanks to Sam and his team at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. Britta
One of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life. The 10-day retreat is the ultimate in relaxation. They feed you all your meals (delicious homegrown/homemade food), schedule yoga and daily spa treatments and hold special ceremonies throughout the week. The staff go above and beyond to make your experience deep, meaningful and heartfelt. The sanctuary is located in a jungle so be prepared to be immersed in wildlife! Monkeys, reptiles of all kinds, turtles on the beach, eagles/birds and more! I stumbled across this place researching Sri Lanka and it was truly meant to be. The faculties are stunning, comfortable and reasonably priced. Don’t miss an opportunity to come here!
Melanie Farfel
Melanie Farfel
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A wonderful stay! The staff was so incredible and thoughtful throughout. I left feeling very rejuvenated. Thank you !
M UW
M UW
1710650939
I had really nice experience at Sen Wellness for 8 nights. Here is in the middle of nature, we can feel that we are a part of nature and it is very natural to live with all kinds of animals and plants. I am now mentally and physically fit.What I really appreciated is food - healthy, everyday different menu, some vegetables that I have never seen… I felt that my feeling of taste transformed through my stay and skin condition and body condition became better.All people here is really kind and peaceful.Yoga teacher, Stefania, is a wonderful teacher, she is really knowledgeable and so kind to care all participants. I had enjoyed conversations with her at breakfast, lunch and dinner.Doctors, therapists are nice, I could ask questions and request whatever I feel comfortable.There are different types of rooms, I experienced the most luxury cabana and eco-cabana with Air Conditioning, too. Luxury cabana was awesome but I liked eco-cabana as well. It was an old facility but authentic, compact and I felt cozy. I was alone in the room so the space was enough for single use. If you wish to have luxury stay, I would recommend you to go for Luxury cabana.Everyone has different purpose and expectations. My purpose was feel nature, have simple life and feel appreciation of life. And it was fulfilled. Thank you so much for all Sen wellness team.
sunil damodar
sunil damodar
1710516667
Went to Sen Wellness with family for a retreat, it was a nice spiritual and healthy experience. Fantastic team who were friendly and did everything possible to make it us feel special, great doctors and therapists and of course the daily yoga and one on one interaction with Sam was icing on the cake. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a great mix of spirituality, yoga, treatment and healthy eating. Look forward to my next one at Sen Wellness.
Jessica Crozier
Jessica Crozier
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Sen Wellness is the perfect place to go to when you are exhausted by life and need a rest to get back to yourself and work through any difficulties you may be experiencing.There’s lovely yoga and meditation classes every day plus a set schedule which is a great way to structure your day of rest alongside tailored Ayurvedic treatments and healthy food.The place is for me perfect but it’s not like a 5 star hotel so if that’s what you are looking for it may be the wrong place for you.If you are lucky you’ll see some turtles as well.Samath and Francis are great managers and will make sure everything goes well.
Kumail Syedain
Kumail Syedain
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Beautiful experience, beyond my wildest expectations. Would recommend to anyone interested in Ayurveda and healing
Neil Wadhawan
Neil Wadhawan
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I was fortunate to lead a yoga retreat in early February of 2024. Everything was absolutely spectacular. Sen is a very special place with a beautiful energy that is perfect for retreat and healing.What really makes Sen so special are the people. Every single one of the staff members as well as the ayurveda doctors and all the managers were so kind and always trying to make each experience special. The entire team was led by Sanath and Frances and they were both absolutely wonderful. I can't possibly find enough kind words for both of them. Their leadership and warmth really allowed me to lead the retreat in the best way I could and they were always there for me whenever I needed. Thank you!
helen wright
helen wright
1709279369
Sen wellness is a perfect sanctuary. The Ayurvedic retreat was insane - I loved every minute of it . Thank you
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