The Out Breath: Does it take you to a Good Calm, or to Freeze??

The Out Breath: Does it take you to a Good Calm, or to Freeze??

After watching my previous video about using the out breath to “settle”, one person asked me “A lot of people think an out breath is a sigh, and they think of that as a deflating/negative thing – but I experience a breath out as a good and helpful thing. Why would we have such different experiences from an out breath?”

This video looks at that great question.

The out breath is regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

But… there are two branches of the PNS – and they function differently, and FEEL different in the body.

Both branches of the PNS slow things down in the body – but one branch takes you to the enlivened and regenerative “Rest and Digest” state, while the other takes you to the shut-down or “Freeze” state (which is a biologically ancient protective state).

Aha! Therein lies the difference. Depending on which “side” of the PNS you land in when you do a big out breath, your body will do (and feel) something very different.

In this video, I offer you one way to explore the difference – and what each feels like: through noticing whether, when you do a big out breath, do you land on the support of your bones – or do you collapse?

And then notice if there is a difference in how you feel. And a difference in how you ARE, in the world. And perhaps also a difference in how others (like, horses! Or people, or other animals…) notice you and RESPOND to you.

I show you a wee bit of me, using the out breath, to find support in my own self so that I can be clear with the horses as I bring them some grain. This is after I had a scare, where one horse nearly got injured on the ice … and the ground is VERY icy. So – I NEEDED my out breaths today!! 🙂

Have a look. Then I invite you to go exploring for your own self: are you able to do the two different things – a collapse, and then an out breath where you feel the support of your bones?? Do they feel different, to you? Do they work differently, when you do something? Do you notice anything else interesting???

Happy exploring!



About the Author:

Violet van Hees is a movement freedom specialist who works with people (and with horses) to release tightness and pain, and to transform body "stuckness" into something that you can work with. We then use what emerges to create new freedom and ease in your movement and in what you do, in ways that feel safe and reasonable - and that work - for you. Violet is a Feldenkrais® Practitioner, a Tellington TTouch® Equine Practitioner, and a BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders. She works with a deep interest in and understanding of biomechanics, neuroplasticity, body response to trauma, energy work, and how we learn.

One Comment

  1. Susan February 21, 2018 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks Violet! Hope you are doing well.
    I would use the words, calm and confident or focused and ready… when I use slow out breaths!
    PS Love the background and the horses
    Take care Susan

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