Many of us fall into periods of shallow breathing. This occurs for many reasons, most are related to stress. Anxiety may prevent a full inhale and exhale. Sometimes we even unknowingly hold our breath! Full and correct breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system. It improves concentration and reduces anxiety. When you wake up in the morning, start your day with one of the breath practices on this site. Oxygenate your body, clear your thoughts and begin your day with focus!
In Belisa Vranach’s book Breathe she describes the two common types of breathing.
Shoulders lift and and lower while breathing
Shoulders stay in position and belly and lower ribs go in and out when breathing
I believe each of us is both. We came into the world knowing how to breathe. We need to be reminded to come back again and again to full breathing – where the lungs, ribs and lower belly rise upon inhale and lower on exhale – horizontal breathing.
Why is intentional breathing important to well being? 20% of all oxygen inhaled goes to your brain • Full breathing = clear thinking
TIP # 1
RETURN TO HORIZONTAL BREATHING (again and again)
If your shoulders are rising and falling when you’re breathing, drop down, and breathe deeply and fully into your lower body.
BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE AND EXHALE FROM THE MOUTH
Your body and brain react very differently to whether air comes into your body through your nose or your mouth.
Unless you’re exercising vigorously, breathing in through the mouth is not advised. It encourages the head and shoulders often move forward straining the neck and upper thoracic region.
Mouth breathing can also disrupt the pH balance of the blood, making it too alkaline, causing anxiety and other negative effects.
Breathing through the nose increases CO2 saturation in the blood, which creates a calming effect.
KEEP YOUR SPINE LONG
Whether you are standing, lying down or sitting, elongate the spine for full breathing.
Take breaks throughout your day to remind yourself to take complete breaths. Keep practicing. If you would like to advance your practice, see other posts on breathing practices and visit the Breathe Page on this site.