Alright it’s time for an emergency test from the National Breath Better Association….okay so I made that up. Now in all seriousness let’s test something. Take your right hand on your belly, and your left hand on your chest. Close your eyes and start to breath normally. Now, open your eyes and look down as you continue to breathe. Which hand comes out more than the other? If it’s your right, give yourself a hand, if it was your left than we need to have a talk.
That means you are a chest breather, don’t worry it happens to the best of us. I should know I used to be one. It took me years of yogic practice to realize that outside of yoga I was still breathing shallow, and not incorporating my diaphragm. So I was making my body work twice as hard to deliver oxygen to my body and bringing on muscle tension, anxiety, headaches, upset stomach, and fatigue. Just because I wasn’t breathing deep enough. Not only that, but my exercise was suffering as well, I couldn’t run nearly the same distance or lift as much. Now that I am much more conscious of my breathing and concentrate on taking deeper breaths I don’t experience the same problems, that and my elimination of caffeine, but that’s a whole different topic for another day. So what I am saying is the yogis have been practicing for hundreds of years, and are proven to be one of the healthiest groups of people out there. And it just stems from proper breathing. So are you ready to learn how you can retrain your body how to breathe deep, the way you are intended to?
Practice these techniques for a couple of minutes every morning upon waking. This will not only allow you to slowly ease into your day it will also deliver an optimum oxygen supply to your brain and the rest of your body to help you fully wake up and start your day off on a positive foot.
Sit up tall cross-legged on the floor or bed or seated in a chair. Close your eyes and focus on breathing in three areas. Making sure to inhale and exhale through your nose.
1. Push the stomach forwards as you breathe in.
2. Push the ribs sideways while still breathing in. The stomach will automatically go inwards slightly.
3. Lift the chest and collar bone up while still breathing in.
All three steps should be done in a smooth, continuous rhythm with each part following smoothly on from the previous part.
1. Just allow the collar bone, chest and ribs to relax-the air will go out automatically.
2. When all the air seems to be out, push the stomach in slightly to expel any remaining air in the lungs.
This practice can be also down when you find yourself becoming overwhelmed at work or at home, when you are exercising, or right before bed at night. Practicing correct breathing techniques is vital to your health physically and mentally. Shallow breathing is often a sign of stress, and statistics show that stress is the leading cause of 95% of illnesses.
Andrea King is a certified San Diego personal trainer offering holistic San Diego personal training programs to help her clients achieve a healthier way of life. If you have been looking for that missing link to healthier way of life, feel free to contact me and come in for a free fitness consultation.