Do you ever forget to breathe? I know that may sound completely ridiculous because if you did you wouldn’t be reading this right now! I mean breathe properly, taking a deep breath into the belly, long and slow? Well I know I do, because it’s not something that comes naturally to me.
The more we stress and run around like chooks with our heads cut off, the more we forget to breathe the way we were meant to… deep into the full body… so deep your tummy pokes out… when was the last time you did that?
When I was away at a health camp last year I was doing all sorts of wonderful exercises… different types of yoga, stretching etc… I remember thinking I must incorporate some of this into my routine. Right at that moment, the yoga teacher said ‘when you get home, you’ll probably forget most of this but if you can take just one thing away, it’s to remember to breathe’. The breath is our life force and needs to be done properly to gain the full benefit.
Only last week I was getting some physio on my neck and just before the therapist began getting stuck into me he could tell I was only breathing in the top part of the body and took me through some deep breaths that immediately had a relaxing effect… and it made his job that little bit easier. When we are stressed and thinking a thousand thoughts we breathe mostly into our lungs, and not into the diaphragm where the real work is done.
So I thought I’d put together a few facts to get you thinking…
Breathing detoxifies and releases toxins. Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. When you exhale air you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.
Breathing releases tension. Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow.
Breathing relaxes the mind/body and brings clarity. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them slowly, deeply and purposefully. As you relax your body, you’ll find that proper breathing brings clarity and vision.
Breathing relieves emotional problems. Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body.
Breathing relieves pain. Ever notice what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You hold your breath, yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.
Breathing increases digestion and assimilation of food. I love this one. When the digestive organs such as the stomach receive more oxygen, they operate more efficiently.
I could go on because there’s so many more benefits but you get the gist. So why am I banging on about breathing? I was talking to my dear friend and life coach Lyndall Mitchell about our Weekend Today segment this Saturday. She’ll be sharing her great approach, with helpful tips that can take us from Chaos to Calm or Rushed to Relaxed. Tune in from about 8.45am tomorrow morning on Channel 9 to find out a few ways in which you can help your body help you.
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