This week’s Ultimate Transformation Moment deals with one of life’s most basic functions–breathing. We look to breathing techniques as a method to help bring calm and clarity.

Stop what you’re doing right now and hold your breath for as long as you can. Slowly exhale. You may notice that you can barely wait to take the next breath. Your body is looking for that next intake of oxygen. You appreciate that next breath. It saves you. Your life continues because you take breath after breath. Yet, most of us go throughout our day unconscious of our breathing.

Breathing is a form of purification. The circulatory, respiratory and all 11 body systems rely on oxygen to function. When you breathe in and exhale, your blood is being purified, and carbon dioxide is being released.

Breathing can also be a first step to prayer and meditation. Quieting the mind may begin with concentration on your breathing. You can then begin to focus on connecting your conscious mind with your physical body.

While the intake of oxygen gives us life, the manner in which we breathe is also important. So, what is this breathing technique?

We begin with inhalation that will supply the body with the maximum amount of oxygen. Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose, and swallow some of the oxygen.

This means you will not only feel your chest inflate but also your stomach. Then as you reach the pinnacle of inhalation, release and exhale slowly through your mouth.

Throughout your day, take moments to sit still and focus on your breathing. Think to yourself, “in” then inhale. Next think to yourself, “out” and then exhale. Repeat this exercise for a minute or longer if you have the time. What you’re doing is slowing down your thought process and eliminating some of those stressors that we experience during the day. Release the worry about the next bill or the traffic or you fill in the blank. For the moment, focus your conscious mind on your body. Listen to your breath.

Inhale-breathe in. Exhale-breathe out. Inhale-peace. Exhale-worry, doubt and fear. Repeat. Through this breathing exercise, the body becomes more relaxed. You become more aware and you become more balanced. Now, you’ve settled your mind and your body and you are better equipped to activate or conquer whatever you have determined to be your next right action.

It’s great to begin the morning with a breathing exercise, prior to meditation and prayer, and again throughout your day, when you’re hit with those stressors and fight or flight moments. It’s definitely a great exercise to do at night before going to bed, to clear your mind for peaceful sleep.

Let’s become more conscious of using our breathing technique to connect our minds with our bodies and help eliminate some of the stressful moments throughout the day. Relax yourself and you will become more efficient and aware throughout your day.

That’s our Ultimate Transformations Moment. Peace and be more.

Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles, Calif. He is the author of “21 Days to Ultimate Health and Wellness.” The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page” with Dominique DiPrima. As founder of Collegiate Search Youth Organization, Erich has been assisting youth in the community for more than 20 years. He can be reached at www.ultimatetransformations.com.