Your Guide to Proper Breathing
The second of a two-part series on conscious breathing was just published on Shaun Rosenberg’s site. I want to thank Shaun for publishing my article. But before you read about how to use your breathing consciously to serve specific mental, emotional and physical purposes, we need to discuss the proper method for daily breathing.
To find out, take a deep breath.
First, did you breathe in through your nose or your mouth?
Second, what part or parts of you body moved or expanded when you took a breath?
1. Breathing in through your nose is more effective and healthier, and thus, is the recommended method of breathing. Mouth breathing doesn’t bring as much nourishment to the brain as nasal breathing does.
When you breathe in through your nose the little hairs (cilia) filter out debris and pathogens, as well as warming and moisturizing the air before it goes to your lungs. On very cold days, it has been recommended that you only breathe through you nose, especially if you have asthma or any other respiratory condition. It will also minimize the occurrence of chapped lips.
2. If your shoulders rose, you are utilizing clavicular breathing. If your chest expanded, you’re using thoracic breathing. If your shoulders rose and your chest expanded, you are using a combination of clavicular and thoracic breathing. Using clavicular and/or thoracic breathing is, in effect, shallow breathing and introduces less oxygen into the lungs.
If your stomach expanded, congratulations, you’re utilizing abdominal-diaphragmatic breathing which is the most efficient method and provides the most oxygen intake. This is the method used by singers and professional athletes, and when combined with nasal inhalation, is the recommended method. If you are utilizing both recommended methods, you can skip Step 2.
Step 2: Correcting Your Breathing
I not only taught others how to do this but I started with myself. I was not using either of the recommended methods.
a) To change to nasal inhalation, all that is required is being mindful of keeping you lips closed. If you’re mouth breathing is due to allergies, sinus problems or something else like a deviated septum, it is in your best interest to take steps to eliminate these issues.
I had a chronic issue at bedtime: gravity seemed to clog my nose. This led to mouth breathing and getting addicted to nasal spray (which exacerbated the problem). To wean myself off the nasal spray, I used Breathe Right Nasal Strips ™. They solved my problem and strangely, it eventually just went away.
b) In order to change your breathing to abdominal-diaphragmatic, you must spend some time each day lying on your back. Place a book or any object on your stomach, and focus on it going up as you inhale and going down as you exhale. You can also rub your hands together to warm and energize them, and place them on you stomach.
You can practice throughout the day by placing your hands on your stomach and focusing on the correct motion. You can use the conscious breathing triggers below to remind you to practice. It only takes an average of 21 days to form a new habit, but you have to practice and attend to the change.
Step 3: Become Mindful of Your Posture
Proper posture is essential to maximize effective breathing. Proper posture opens up the diaphragm and allows for maximum oxygen intake. Think about it, if you’re hunched over, you’re compressing you organs. Additionally, when your spine is straight, all your chakras are aligned allowing the optimal energy flow.
Proper posture also includes shoulder positioning which is affected during stress.
If you need help becoming mindful of your posture, try using the following triggers as reminders: a tree, a pole, a street sign, a flag pole, an ad or commercial for back pain, and a chair. Whenever you see any one of these straighten up with shoulders down. Spinal health is very worthy of you effort and attention.
There is some more for me to tell you but in the effort to keep the posts shorter, I separated it into proper breathing and will follow with the additional information on conscious breathing.
May you perceive and receive all your blessings.
With Much Love,
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