Free Your Breath

just breath

Through all the years I’ve been trying to stay healthy by eating well, exercising, taking vitamins, attempting to meditate, it’s only now I really understand that breathing properly is the simplest trick most of us miss in the equation. We can be forgiven of course, as it’s something we all do automatically – approximately 12-18 times a minute of every day. We don’t have to give it a second thought, and quite frankly, who needs ‘learn to breathe’ added to our endless to-do lists. But doing exactly that has made huge changes in the way I feel and look. I can relax more deeply, sleep better, meditate for longer, my digestion functions a whole lot better, I feel taller, lighter (a bonus when running) and I even detect more colour in my skin which others have noticed.

It’s work in progress though – as I sit here in front of my laptop writing this, I know I’m not breathing properly. Modern life – poring over iPads, driving, toting designer handbags, sitting in front of the TV and computer – all conspire to make us lean forwards, hunching our shoulders over and collapsing into our diaphragm, the major muscle which drives our breath. There’s often a sub-conscious emotional element to this too – if we’re hurt, grieving or broken hearted, our instinct is to curl over for comfort – the same goes when we feel threatened. The upshot is, we end up with with constricted breathing, air only going to our chests, using a fraction of our natural lung capacity. We feel anxious and tired rather than full of life. Read More…