The power in the pause

butenko pause.jpg

Previously when I have considered the notion of a 'pause' it's been with reference to taking a step back, putting the brakes on rushing through life or a spot of meditation… However recently I discovered there was a powerful pause each of us makes, multiple times in every minute of every day without even knowing it, and the power it holds is entirely overlooked and under utilised.

We breathe in and we breathe out, we breathe in and we breathe out… This is a continuous process that we don't even have to think about. Our bodies regulate us on autopilot. Yet consciously being aware of our breath and more importantly how we then physically engage with it takes us into a new level.

The next time you breathe out notice what happens in that split second before you breath in, that moment where time seems to stand still, we float within our bodies before refilling our lungs with air. Next time you breathe out, at the end of the breath try extending that passive pause a little and see what it feels like.

This is the power of the pause.

I often enjoy this 'floating' timeless experience during my yoga classes but I had no understanding that spending time in the pause on a regular daily basis could create such huge internal benefits for our body systems. My recent butenko breathing session with Jen Tiller showed me otherwise.

Our bodies need a very precise balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood stream at all times. That delicate balance is easily upset and over time a process called the BOHR effect changes the PH of the whole system, reducing the rate of oxygen available to the cells. Breathing more actually makes it worse. The body is conditioned to breathe too much all the time as a result of the well-known fight or flight response becoming habitual.

At the core of the Buteyko method is a series of reduced-breathing exercises that focus on nasal-breathing, breath-holding and relaxation.  The ‘control pause’ at the end of the out breath is key to regulating our breathing and the all the potential health benefits this has been shown to be associated with. 

You can find more information about Jen Tiller’s butenko breathing sessions here and some more info about butenko breathing in general and the potential benefits to health and fitness here.

As ever I simply encourage you to get ‘curious’, for me understanding the power of my own body and various ways in which I can optimise my health is a key part of this process.


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