Breathing therapy: conscious breathing is considered the key to relaxation


The practitioners at Château d’Elmau wish to acquire a deeper awareness of themselves.
Image: Julia Zimmermann

Breathing is not the same as breathing. Conscious breathing is considered the key to relaxation, and even the path to self-discovery. How do you get there?

“Breath is your anchor. » When Michael Bordt says this, it sounds pleading. A simple image. And yet not easy to implement. Under the guidance of the Munich Jesuit priest and university professor as well as the Berlin yoga teacher Patricia Thielemann, we – 15 participants from Germany and Switzerland – practice diving in silence at Elmau Castle. Practice repeatedly feeling the gentle flow of your breath through the nasal septum. Or in the throat. And in doing so, to quiet our constantly chattering inner voice. And to get to the bottom of “what helps in a crisis” (the title of the multi-day retreat). This must be achieved through careful awareness of your own breathing.

Connecting with your inner pulse is considered the silver bullet in yoga and meditation. For thousands of years. “Some sacrifice the outgoing breath for the incoming breath, mastering the outgoing and incoming breath,” is how the Bhagavad Gita describes ancient breathing techniques. The holy book of Hinduism was probably written between the 5th and 2nd centuries BC. The collection of texts from the Yoga Sutra, dated a few centuries later, summarizes the practice of breathing under the word “Pranayama” and considers it one of the fundamental requirements of a yogic life.

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