By: Rebecca Rondone – Owner of Pura Vida Yoga & Physical Training
Breath is essential to life. Simply put, it is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we leave. We take about half a billion breaths in a lifetime. What we may not realize is that the mind, body, and breath are intimately connected and can influence each other. Our breathing is influenced by our thoughts, and our thoughts and physiology can be influenced by our breath. Learning to breathe consciously and with awareness is vital. It can be a valuable tool in helping to restore balance in the mind and body. Deep breathing sends a message to your brain that has a calming effect. It can lower your heart rate and breathing rate, decrease your blood pressure, reduce muscle tension and help you feel less stressed overall – all essential for your health and well-being.
Put into practice:
Complete Belly Breath: With one hand on your belly, relax your abdominal muscles, and slowly inhale through the nose, bringing air into the bottom of your lungs. You should feel your abdomen rise. This expands the lower parts of the lungs. Continue to inhale as your rib cage expands outward, and finally, the collar bones rise. At the peak of the inhalation, pause for a moment, then exhale gently from the top of your lungs to the bottom. At the end of exhalation, contract your abdominal muscles slightly to push residual air out of the bottom of your lungs.