Whatâ€™s the big deal about breathing? Itâ€™s something we do every minute of every day, and yet rarely ever think about.Â Breathing is revered in many cultures as the essence of life.Â It is a rhythmic process and the only bodily function that is both voluntary and involuntary.Â Obviously, we need to breathe to live. We breathe oxygen into our lungs, which allows it to circulate throughout our body to unlock the energy stored in digested food, while cleansing our bodies of waste products and toxins.
The breath is also a fundamental part of the yoga tradition.Â One of the Five Principles of Yoga is Pranayama (or “breath control”). In Yoga, you endeavor to bring more oxygen to the blood and brain (the brain, though not the largest organ in our bodies, requires the most amount of oxygen. If it does not receive it… tiredness, negative thoughts, depression, and eventually vision and hearing impairment will ensue). Many of us have developed poor breathing habits as a result of stress, worry, and exhaustion. Just think about it….
What Happens When We Forget To Breathe:
* We hunch and slouch, which obstructs our airways and shortens our breathe.
* When we are overwhelmed (or concentrating intently) we tend to forget to breath, and instead being to tense our muscles (which restricts exhalation and makes our breathes shorter and shallower).
* And of course, pollution, smog, and other environmental toxins reduce our lung capacity over time.
Yoga teaches you to control Prana (free energy) and breath properly. The correct way to breathe is through your nose and abdomen (rather than through your mouth and chest). Not only does this help to reduce the inhalation of pathogens, but it also allows you to ingest Prana (that’s the kind of energy we should be getting from things other than coffee and chocolate). So, are you convinced yet that you need to be focusing more on your breathing? What are you waiting for? Take a moment and improve your breathing right now…
How To Breathe With Your Diaphragm:
* Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
* Exhale through your mouth and then inhale through your nose (try to take in as much air as you can and hold it for seven seconds).
* Exhale slowly for eight seconds (try to let the air out at a steady pace).
* Contract your abdominal muscles to ensure that you have gotten all of the air out.
* If you’re breathing in, make sure that the hand over your chest does not rise (while the hand over your abdomen does).
How Does Deep Breathing Help Me?
* Pranayama has been shown to prevent major diseases and alleviate some minor illnesses
* Rejuvenate your body and skin (by purifying our system from toxic build-ups)
* Increase your energy..and more!
Stay Tuned: Next week we’ll look into different tactics for easy breathing!
* Be Honest: How often do you take a deep breathe and focus on your breathing?
Want to get outside, feel fit or find new ways to tone your body? Cara Murphy will help you tap into your inner athlete, no matter where you are at in your life. To submit your own questions, comments and suggestions, please contact Cara at firstname.lastname@example.org.