When was the last time you took time to breathe? I mean, REALLY breathe. Have you also noticed that life has become such a whirlwind for most of us that we don’t even take the time to slow down and take deep breaths?
Years ago, when I had more of a routine in my life, I was an avid yoga goer. And with my yoga practice I most definitely took time during the class to listen to my breath! I hate to admit it but I’ve forgotten how good it made me feel!
We can all learn to breathe a little more consciously right? But I know there are some of us that physically CAN’T breathe easily due to either allergies, pollutants or even a cold. So before we can take steps to better breathing try out a product like Hydrasense which uses desalinated seawater providing a non-medicated way to relieve congestion. (Parents – there are products safe for babies too!)
As I mentioned, for me the best way to connect with my breath was yoga. I know not all of us can fit in a yoga routine into our lives right away; it takes a lot of discipline and commitment. It’s extremely beneficial so I do hope that I’ll personally be able to go back to practicing, but until then here are 6 easy steps to better breathing that we can all do each day:
Six Easy Steps to Better Breathing
Locate your diaphragm
Extending across the bottom of your rib cage, the diaphragm performs an important function in breathing. As the diaphragm contracts, the volume of our thoracic cavity (heart, lungs and ribs) increases and air is then drawn into our lungs.
Observe Your Breath
Start with lying down on your back or find a comfortable position to sit in. Place your left hand on your chest and your right hand over your belly button. Breathe in and out focusing on trying to inflate your abdomen – you should feel your right hand rising and falling, but keep your chest and your left hand still.
Check your left hand – is it rising? That means you’re not inhaling deeply and you’re not breathing through your diaphragm. It takes practice, but this is a good way to check yourself. After inhaling deeply, exhale gently through your nose, blowing lightly at the end of the exhalation. This helps you activate your diaphragm which most of us don’t do.
Take A Full Breath
Inhale slowly and fill your lungs completely – avoid taking short breaths; exhale slowly and completely.
Slow Down Your Rhythm
A breathing cycle is one inhale and one exhale. Try to slow your breathing down to 8 – 10 slow and smooth cycles per minute. This is definitely challenging but has great benefits. Finding this slow rhythm regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2, slows the heart rate and can optimize your blood circulation
Try to repeat steps 1 – 5 for five minutes each day or as the beginning of yoga practice.
Hopefully these tips will help you connect with your breath a little more! As I mentioned, it does take some practice but the benefits seem to be huge with little effort!
Here’s to better breathing!
Life in Pleasantville was invited to attend this event, hosted by Hydrasense. All opinions are those of the authors.