Taking a few breaths together will help bring you into the present moment of now.
How often do you greet your significant other by complaining about your day in which so many things went wrong—a co-worker yelled at you, a lady cut you off at the light, the barista gave you the wrong coffee?
What if you greeted each other using synchronized breathing instead of a flurry of conversation?
It is a simple concept, the same way our lives started as babies in utero, nurtured by our mothers’ heartbeats. When we were small and needed comforting, our mothers’ first instinct was to place our heads to their hearts. As adults, we feel our hearts flutter with the excitement of life.
Touch is such an important part of our lives and the interactions we have with others. A simple hug can remedy a mood in an instant. A study led by Dr. Charmaine Griffiths of the British Heart Foundation shows that hugs and handholding provide benefits to the heart and reduce stress. When a group of couples was told to discuss an “angry event,” the group that held hands and hugged before the confrontation evidenced a lower heart rate and blood pressure.
In relationships, we can get caught up in our busy daily lives and fail to nourish the intimacy we have with each other. We may have had sex yesterday, so we feel as though we have been intimate enough for the week. Foreplay is fun, yet sometimes we are not in the mood for sex; pure and loving touch can be just as nice.
Synchronized breathing is a technique that is easy to implement; simply embrace each other and breathe together. This bond of touch can help your body release the optimum levels of mood-boosting/bonding chemicals called oxytocin and serotonin.
To do synchronized breathing, find your position of choice. Some ideas include hugging, sitting back-to-back, lying back in the lap or lying down and embracing each other. Focus on synchronizing your breathing, taking slow inhales and exhales. It does not matter who is leading, you will take turns along the way.
Do this exercise for at least one minute. The more time you take, the better you will feel and the more relaxed your body will become. It is very similar to a meditation, as you are focused on your breath; you are not speaking, just breathing and feeling the closeness of another person.
Many times, all your troubles of the day will be lessened with this simple practice.
Allow time and hold a space for each other during the synchronized breathing exercise. Give it a try and see how your intimacy increases with your significant other. Taking these few breaths together will help to set the tone for your time and bring you into the present moment of now.
As Joseph Campbell writes, “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”
And remember the couple that hugs and breathes together, stays together.
Kerry Alison Wekelo spends her time managing the internal operations at Actualize Consulting, where her leadership program has successfully created a team-oriented environment. She teaches yoga regularly at Beloved Yoga and is the author of Audrey’s Journey, a children’s book series focused on teaching kids about compassion and yoga. Visit her websites at allisawesome.com and yogaandwork.com.
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Ed: Thandiwe Ogbonna & Brianna Bemel