Contemplative Psychotherapy and Breath Work

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    • 00:01

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN: Hi.I'm Lynn Somerstein, and I'm speaking to you from my homeoffice and studio today.And I'm going to be speaking to youabout contemplative psychotherapy,and especially about using breathwork to help people who might have problemswith anxiety or depression.

    • 00:23

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: I have a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies,with a concentration in psychology and psychoanalysis.And I'm a yoga therapist a yoga teacher.I teach usually restorative yoga and chair yoga.In my private practice with peoplewho are having difficulties with anxiety or depression,

    • 00:45

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: one of the things I turn to in someis breath work, because it helps,and it helps pretty fast, too.I call it my secret weapon.Well, I figure the best way to learn anything is by doing it,so if you would like to join me, let's do some breath workright now.We're going to do deergha swasam-- three part breath.

    • 01:08

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: So if you're sitting in a chair, come forwardto the edge of the chair, and have your sitz bonesright on the edge of the chair.Have you knees over your ankles, your shoulders over your hips.Have the top of your head, this part here, reaching to the sky.So you're getting longer and longer.

    • 01:28

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: Your backbone's getting longer.So we'll begin.For an inhale, your belly goes out, your ribs go out,the collarbone goes up.You can feel them with your hands.For an exhale, the collarbone goes down,

    • 01:52

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: your ribs go in, your belly goes in.We'll repeat.Inhale.Belly goes out, ribs go out, collarbone goes up.Exhale.Collarbone goes down, ribs go in, belly goes in.

    • 02:15

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: Let's repeat this a few times on our own.Feels good.So what's this for?So if you have anxiety, your heart and your breathis moving really fast, and you'rebreathing from the top of your lungs,

    • 02:36

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: and that's really not good for you.And it makes you even more stressed.It's like the fight or flight, or freeze syndrome.This makes you ready to run.But you're not always in a situationwhere running is appropriate, like for example,if you're stuck on the 14th Street subway.On the other hand, if you're depressed,

    • 02:59

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: your breath gets lower and lower, and so do you.And you might even find yourself holding your breath.Well, clearly, this is not a positive wayto be in the world.It's going to make you feel worse.You're not getting enough oxygen.So you're going to feel even more terrible.

    • 03:22

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: So come close to yourself.See how you're feeling right this very moment.You might visualize the world's experton breath work, a young newborn infant,

    • 03:46

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: even, lying on its back, only wearing a diaper,and you can see clearly as anything, the belly goes out,the ribs go out, the collarbone goes up.We can inhale, and with an exhale,the collarbone goes down, the ribs go in, the belly goes in.

    • 04:08

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: It's really lovely to see.That's how we were born breathing,but we forget, or society makes us breathe different ways,because we're scared, or we're in a hurry,or you just don't want to be present.

    • 04:29

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: So let's try it again.On an inhale, the belly goes out.Your ribs go out.The collarbone goes up.And on an exhale, the collarbone goes down,the ribs go in, the belly goes in.Keep it up.

    • 04:50

      LYNN SOMERSTEIN [continued]: It's delicious, and it works.

Contemplative Psychotherapy and Breath Work

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Abstract

Dr. Lynn Somerstein introduces breath work and its benefits for psychotherapy and for overall health. Somerstein guides viewers through "deergha swasam," a three part breath, that can be used anytime, but is particularly useful for situations of high anxiety, when "fight, flight or freeze" feelings kick in.

Contemplative Psychotherapy and Breath Work

Dr. Lynn Somerstein introduces breath work and its benefits for psychotherapy and for overall health. Somerstein guides viewers through "deergha swasam," a three part breath, that can be used anytime, but is particularly useful for situations of high anxiety, when "fight, flight or freeze" feelings kick in.

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