There are many things in life that we take for granted. That the light will turn on when we flip the switch, that you have the freedom to choose how you will live today, and that the sun will rise each morning, to name just a few.
Many things happen without our having to coordinate them, and that’s a good thing. When you are focused on a very busy day, it’s nice to know that you will continue to breathe without having to think. Yet how effectively are you breathing in that situation?
We generally tend to breathe in a fairly shallow manner, unless we are exercising. If you only fill your lungs partially, you only have a partial supply of oxygen for your cells. Having a full supply of oxygen will energize your brain, and calm your heart rate.
Want to explore how you can feel with a more complete supply of oxygen? Try this yoga exercise:
1. Lay down on the floor or sit upright with a long spine.
2. Place your hands on your belly and breathe through your nose, allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in and release as you exhale. Repeat a few times, then slide your hands out to the bottom of your rib cage.
3. Direct your breath here, allowing your ribs to expand as you inhale and soften as you exhale. It’s fine if your belly moves a little. Repeat a few times, then move your hands to your chest.
4. As you continue to breathe, let your chest rise and fall. Your ribs and belly may move, but focus on your chest as though you are trying to make more space for your heart.
5. Now let out a long, easy exhale as we connect your whole torso …
6. Take about a third of an inhale into your belly and pause; bring another third of an inhale into your ribs and pause, then take the rest of your inhale into your chest, allowing it to rise up.
7. Pause here just long enough to enjoy the fullness of your lungs, then relax and let it go.
8. Take a normal, easy breath, then try this three-part breath again.
Repeat this exercise a few times and then focus on your body. How do you feel? More energized? Relaxed? Calmer?
Make this exercise a regular practice several times a day to improve the oxygen level in your body. And when your day gets out of hand, and turmoil is all around you, you can come back to your breath for a sense of peace and presence. Editing your breathing practice can lift your whole mood and your body – supporting your pursuit of wellness for life because health is wealth.