The healing power of breathing!
Most of us spend the day unconsciously breathing – and essentially limiting our very life force. I challenge you to take a moment in your day to sit, still the mind, root down through the sit bones, extend up through the spine and take 5 deep, long, meaningful breaths. Inhale to expand the ribcage out, fill the belly and with ease release the breath. Notice the effects: maybe the mind becomes calmer, the body feels lighter, the breath comes easier.
Shallow breathing only allows engagement of the upper respiratory muscles: sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, and pec minor even. During this shallow breathing we are actually engaging the sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” response. While we require this type of breath engagement to maximize oxygen exchange while exercising or running from harm, in our average day it isn’t necessary or healthy to always operate from the sympathetic response. Instead, engaging the diaphragm and intercostals by consciously expanding out through the belly and ribs while breathing deeply, without force, allows the parasympathetic nervous system’s “relax” response to activate.
See article below for some great simple breathing techniques…!
Data and Image Reference: NYTIMES article: Breathe. Exhale. Repeat: The Benefits of Controlled Breathing By Lesley Alderman Nov. 9, 2016