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It’s both the first and last thing we do while we’re on this planet. Essential to living, breathing is something we do automatically, without thinking. Unfortunately many people have forgotten how to breathe properly, taking short and shallow breaths which tells our brains that something is not right. Short and shallow breathing occurs naturally when we’re stressed or threatened.
Watching a baby breathe is beautiful. Naturally their abdomen expands and contracts before they learn to suck in their bellies and puff out their chests to look good.
Whether we breathe properly, from the abdomen, or improperly, our breathing affects our whole body; how well we oxygenate our body, focus and concentrate, and regulate our emotional state are all affected by how well we breathe. How mental, physical and emotional health are not just affected by how we breathe, we can see the state of our health in our breathing.
When we’re stressed, angry, our breathing is short and fast. When we’re relaxed we breathe slower and more deeply. By altering our breathing by consciously breathing deeper, and slower from our abdomen, we alter our emotional state to match our breathing pattern.Learning to breathe properly takes practise. We move from shallow chest breathing to deep abdominal breathing.
How to breathe properly:
- Lying on your back, with your knees bent, place your hands or a book lightly on your abdomen just above your navel.
- Start by taking a few normal breaths.
- Inhale through your nose. Feel your abdomen expand as your use your diaphragm to breathe.
- Exhale slowly, noticing the sensations of the air leaving your body.
- Repeat this relaxed and full breathing for a few minutes.
Notice how much more relaxed, energized and clear headed you are when you breathe properly. If you’ve been breathing from your chest for a long time, it will take some practise to retrain your body to breathe properly without thinking about. Spending some time each day mindfully breathing will help retrain your body to breathe properly while you give yourself the the many gifts which proper breathing provides.
Yoga, Tai Chi and other body centred practices provide us with an exceptional opportunity to use breath to regulate our emotions, improve our health and bring mindfulness to our breathing. Pranayama is the Yogic science which teaches a variety of methods to improve our health through breath.
Increase your energy, while you decrease your stress. Call us to experience the simple techniques and health saving effects of proper breathing at your events and workplace. You can reach Carrie at 416 704 8545 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org