Updated: Sep 28
If you've arrived here, you should have completed the "observation" phase of your Breath is Everything exploration. Please see my Breath is Everything article and spend a few days watching your breath.
What did you discover? Some of the more common observations include :-
My breathing slowed down as I watched it.
My tongue was pressing against the roof of my mouth.
I began to feel calmer.
I started to look forward to my observation sessions.
My mind wandered and I stopped focussing on the breath.
At this point, all your observations are valid and positive. Because breathing is a subliminal activity, we all fall prey to bad habits, and the first step towards correcting them is awareness. Our tongues can harbour tension without us even realising it. But here's the good bit - an exercise!
Tongue Tamer - Begin by observing the breath as you inhale and exhale through your nose. After a few minutes (yes, really! Don't rush this part), check what your tongue and teeth are up to. Gently separate your upper and lower molars, and unstick your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Now aim to complete 5 breath cycles (full inhalation and exhalation), mentally keeping an eye on your tongue and teeth. When you can complete 5 breath cycles without clamping your teeth and without your tongue sticking back up to the roof of your mouth, you can aim for 10 breath cycles. You can see where I'm going with this! Conscious breathwork like this will help to create new neural pathways, and embed the better breathing technique in your muscle memory. Continue to check in with your breath, tongue and teeth several times during the course of the day.