I have such a list, I don’t know where to start. So I will go with the most basic. Last week was drink more water. This week, breathing.
I have taught well over 18,000 yoga classes. The one thing people need to hear is “Breathe”. I can FEEL when someone is holding their breath. In a class of often hundreds, I can feel that there is a collective holding of the breath. I can feel the tension of one person holding their breath. When reminded to breathe, the tension is also released.
So, what’s the big deal? We don’t drink enough water and we don’t breathe properly. Air and water. Without either for very long, we die. All it takes is creating a good habit where there was a poor habit. More on that later.
We are designed to breathe through the nose. That is it’s purpose. If you have a hard time breathing through your nose it is (most likely) because you DON”T breathe through it. If you don’t use it you lose it, you know. Our design has us breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. As you inhale, the air is warmed, cleaned and humidified so your lungs use that air most efficiently. Other wise your lungs have to do that work. May not seem like a big deal but after 20 to 25 thousand breaths per day, it is one more thing that’ll wear you down.
When you exhale, you must rehumidify your nasal passages with that humidity from your lungs so your next breath in is the proper humidity for your lungs. When you breathe like this you are most efficient. In through your nose and out through your nose.
Athletes will do much better with nose breathing. Often in exercise classes they tell you to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. That is ONLY for rhythm. It is almost hypnotic. They encourage counting. Fine. As long as you know it is only for that workout. It is for focus.
Next week I will talk about the relationship of posture, breathing, brain function and the relationship to each. For now, work on this. If it is difficult, work on it. It is one of the best things you can do for your health.
You are in control. Breathe