Breathing, a natural reflex that we do without thinking twice, but maybe we should give it some more attention. Breathing deeply nourishes the body. Learn more about it and some techniques too.
Did you know that we breathe anywhere from twelve to twenty times per minute, around twenty-thousand times in a day? Breathing is the only way for oxygen to get into the body and the only way for carbon dioxide to get out. It’s a natural reflex that we do without thinking twice about it, but it still has a massive impact on our bodies.
What happens when you don’t breathe properly?
Proper breathing is the foundation of a healthy life. It’s a natural process that we do without thinking. But, because of our hectic lifestyles, we often forget to take the time to do it consciously. Taking time for ourselves to breathe deeply has a number of benefits.
Proper breathing can reduce stress, boost energy levels and improve sleep quality. It can also help you recover from illness faster and decrease your risk of heart disease or stroke. But what happens when you don’t breathe correctly or have poor breathing habits?
Shallow breathing can lead to several problems. It can cause a buildup of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, leading to dizziness or even fainting. It can also cause an accumulation of acid in the stomach which may lead to heartburn and indigestion.
It has been found that tight clothing around the waistline restricts lung capacity because it compresses stomach muscles, pushing down on the diaphragm. It can restrict airflow to the lungs, which can lead to a person feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and anxious.
It’s a well-known fact that stress and anxiety cause the body to tense up and restrict airflow. Our breathing becomes shallow and quick, which causes our oxygen levels to drop and blood pressure to rise. This creates a cascade of negative effects on our bodies. It can lead to many problems, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, and back and neck pain.
And vice versa, tight and overworked muscles may restrict proper breathing. You may not think about it or be aware of it, but several muscles and joints are involved in breathing. Here are some of them: scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, pectoralis major and minor, erectors spinae, quadratus lumborum, costovertebral joints, and sternocostal joints.
There are several ways to address poor breathing habits, including relaxation techniques, posture exercises, and breathwork. Breathing is the most natural and easiest way to reduce stress and relax. But did you know it’s also a powerful tool for reducing and eliminating pain?
Deep breathing can be an effective treatment for easing both emotional and physical pain - especially chronic pain from conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia.
There are many different techniques for deep breathing which you can use to help ease your symptoms.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of oxygen:
-It is a natural cleanser and helps to remove toxins from our body
-It supports the growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body
-It helps in regulating blood pressure and heart rate
-It boosts our energy levels and immunity
-It aids in digestion and metabolism
-It promotes healthy brain function
Here are 4 Breathing Exercises to Ease Your Body Aches & Pains
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. It can help you eliminate headaches, shoulder pain, back pain, neck pain, and many other aches and pains. Here are four simple breathing exercises that will help you get rid of your body aches and pains:
The Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise
Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet on the ground, and relax your shoulders, head, and neck. You can also perform this exercise lying down. Keep your knees bent, and your feet placed on the floor if lying down.
Place one hand on your abdomen, just above your belly button, and the other hand on the upper chest. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
Your focus should be on raising the belly as you inhale and expand your diaphragm.
Inhale slowly through your nose as your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
As you exhale through pursed lips, tighten your stomach muscles, so your stomach moves back in. The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.
The Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise
Exhale completely, and then use your right thumb to close the right nostril.
Inhale through the left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers.
Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.
Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril.
Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.
This is one cycle.
Repeat several times to enhance the benefits of this breathing exercise.
The Spinal Twist Breathing Exercise
The spinal twist or Supta Matsyendrasana II is a yoga pose that helps to relieve lower back pain. It also improves the digestive system and helps to improve posture. Taking deep breaths in this pose will benefit your body greatly.
Lie on your back with your arms along your side, palms up or down. Facing up stretches your shoulders more. Facing palms down allows your hands to act as a lever to deepen the twist.
Bend your knees and draw them in toward you, so they are close to the chest.
Shift the hips slightly to the right
On an exhale, gently drop both knees to the left.
Turn the head over to the right. Both shoulders should remain on the floor and away from the ears.
Keep breathing deeply in this position and allow gravity to drop your knees closer to the ground. Stay in this position for 20 breaths or 3 minutes.
As you inhale, bring your knees back to the center, and as you exhale, drop them to the right repeating this pose on the other side. Again, hold for 20 breathes or
You may repeat this exercise a few times.
Figure-8 Breathing Exercise
Figure-8 Breathing Exercise is an exercise you can do in any position.
Place your finger in the middle of the 8 (start here) and slowly trace your finger around it. As you move around to the right, breath in, and as you move to the other side, breath out.
Repeat until you feel calm & relaxed.
Be mindful of your breathing, and take the time for a few deep breaths daily, whether sitting in front of your computer, laying down on the floor, or being in nature.