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Happy New Year! It’s a brand new year and is filled with potential. Let’s kick it off by learning and working on something that can improve our bodies and minds. And that something is, Breathwork! In this episode I share the benefits of working on your breath and some strategies you can do often to improve your breath and mind.
First, let’s tackle the basic question. What is breathwork? Well, breathwork is the process of deliberately focusing on your breath to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your breath while learning to control your mind. This happens through learning to use your entire lung capacity, focusing your mind, and controlling your breath.
Did you know that the majority of people only use 70% of their breath capacity? It’s true. Think about for a second. When we take a normal breath we generally keep it shallow. Don’t believe me. Try to take a “normal” breath. Most likely the only part of your body that moved was your upper chest. Well on top of being shallow breathers, most people are mouth breathers. This generally leads to chest breathing, which only utilizes the top part of the lungs. All of this leads to not capitalizing on your lung capacity and not taking in as much oxygen as you physically can. Not only does it not let you take in as much oxygen as possible you can get stale air in your lungs which can allow diseases to breed easier. Why wouldn’t you want to get as much oxygen as possible since that helps to keep us alive and functioning at our best?
How can we breathe effectively? First, breathe from your nose. When you inhale from your nose, the air is warmed, humidified, and cleaned as it passes through the nasal passages. Plus it cues the body to create and release Nitrogen Oxide. This chemical allows your body to absorb oxygen more efficiently. When you breathe from your nose, your body almost automatically breaths deeper, allowing your breath to go deep into your lungs.
What are some of the benefits from working on your breath? It can enhance your breathing capacity, massage your internal organs, strengthen your diaphragm, you can control your heart rate, stimulate the Vagus nerve, learn to focus your mind, handle tough situations better, and return to a state of calm faster. There are so many benefits to learning how to control your breath, why wouldn’t you? So let’s dive in with a couple strategies.
*Things to remember: Breath in through your nose, relax your body, and focus your mind on the task at hand. Also, only do these exercises on dry land, not in any water. I don’t want you to drown!
Wave Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in through the nose filling the bottom part of your lungs. Let your stomach release and come outward allowing your lungs to expand. Then fill the upper part of your lungs letting your hand on your chest come outward. Hold your breath for a beat and then exhale. As you exhale, release the air in your lower part of your lungs first, bringing the hand on your stomach in. Follow it by exhaling the air in your chest, bringing the hand on your chest in. It should look like a wave. Repeat 3-5 times.
4-7-8 Breath: This exercise I love to do when I’m feeling stressed. Breath in through your nose for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 7 counts. Focus on releasing tension in your body as you hold your breath. Then exhale for 8 counts. Repeat 3-5 times.
Personally since I started working on my breath and doing breathwork multiple times a week I have noticed some huge differences in my life. I am calmer, feel more energized, and I know I’m helping my body be at peak performance. I would love to know your thoughts about this episode and breathwork in general. Let me know by messaging me on social media at @jonesinfor or email me at [email protected] Thank you for being here and your support. You ROCK!