“Take Care of the Exhale, the Inhale will Take Care of Itself!”
How is your breathing? Do you feel like you are struggling to get a breath of air? When you inhale, are you feeling it in your chest, your rib cage, your abdomen, or all three? Do you start your exhale from the bottom and work up or from the top and work down? Do you notice whether you inhale or exhale more smoothly?
And the biggest question of all, why spend time thinking about our breath when it is an automatic, autonomic system. In other words, unless you are dead, you are going to breathe! There are a lot of good reasons to observe your breath and I am going to give you a few. This blog post will also provide you with some interesting breathing tips.
Your Breathing Happens With and Without Your Help
“Breathing Well” has been on my mind a lot these days. It is also being discussed among experts more and more considering COVID19. I am checking in a lot these days with my breathing. I notice when I feel short of breath. I definitely notice how wearing a mask affects my breathing. So I have been experimenting with more breathing techniques in part because I want to have more lung capacity if I do face a serious illness. In that light, I have been studying up on breathwork. So read on for some helpful information that may help you breathe better and fully appreciate how amazing and life-giving is our BREATH. As Leslie Kaminoff says. There are profound lessons in the breath. “They can teach you about how you relate to what you can control and cannot control!”
Advice for Breathing Well from the Experts
- We breathe 17,000 times a day which means your body has that many chances to bring in Vitamin M “the Movement Vitamin” into your body even when you are sleeping. Tom Myers, Author of Anatomy Trains.
- “If you take care of the exhale, the inhale takes care of itself.” Wisdom from T.K.V. Desikachar, father of Viniyoga shared by Internationally known yoga teacher Leslie Kaminoff at The Embodiment Conference.
- Practicing a variety of breath techniques can assist you by training your body‘s breath resilience. In other words, your body will be more likely to find a way to breathe during respiratory illnesses and viruses such as COVID19. Leslie Kaminoff
- Directing your breath into different body parts for the purpose of releasing tension is effective for several reasons including where attention goes, energy flows. Yoga Therapist Olga Kabel
- Your emotions and your breath are very connected. So often breathing problems are deeply seated in disordered emotions. (In other words, fix your breathing and your emotions may follow suit.) Dr. Richard Heckler, Strozzi Institute
- Nose breathing is far more beneficial particularly during the inhale according to an article written in Nursing in General Practice Publication for the following researched reasons:
- It allows 20 percent more oxygen uptake
- It slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volume
- It warms moistens and filters the air
- It traps large particles
- It facilitates the inhalation of Nitric oxide which helps dilate our lungs allowing more oxygen to be transported
- It helps prevent colds, flu, allergic reactions, hay fever, and coughing
- It prevents nasal dryness
- It provides a sense of smell
- It facilitates the correct action of your diaphragm (your breathing muscle)
- It promotes the activity of your parasympathetic system (rest and digest)
- It helps your teeth, tongue, and keeps your mouth from getting overly dry, preventing gum disease.
Breathing Well is a Practice that Can be Done Daily
You can practice breathing with me in several ways. You can join me for my yoga classes. Each week, I offer a variety of breath practices and lots of helpful advice live and the classes are also available On-Demand. Click here to find out more. I can work with you privately or in a small group using my HeartMath tools and other breathing practices. Find out more here. I also put together a series of short videos and a PDF all on Breathing. Click here to find out about The Breath is Life workshop and have to access to a dozen breathing techniques that you can practice again and again. Check out this short breath practice that I learned from my Yoga Mentor Leslie Kaminoff.