HOW WELL DO YOU BREATHE?
“What many doctors found, was that the best way to prevent many chronic health problems, improve athletic performance, and extend longevity was to focus on how we breathed.”
James Nestor, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
- Breathing through the mouth
- Upper chest movement
- Hearing breathing during rest
- Frequent sighing
- Frequent yawning
- Paradoxical breathing
- Easily noticeable breathing movement during rest
How stress affects breathing
- It becomes faster
- Sighing becomes more frequent
- Breathing becomes more noticeable
- Oral breathing
- Upper chest breathing
Breathing to evoke relaxation
- Slow down breathing
- Regular breathing
- Soft breathing
- Nose breathing
- Diaphragmatic breathing
“Healthy breathing is light, quiet, effortless and soft. Breaths are through the nose, diaphragmatic, rhythmic, and gently paused on the exhale.”
Patrick G McKeown, Oxygen Advantage
The Breath influences the physical, emotional and spiritual elements of the human experience – and these are all intimately connected with our health and well-being.
Step 1. Exploring Objectives
There are many reasons why people seek to explore breathwork ranging from physical healing from chronic health conditions to optimising physical performance, as well as exploring spirituality and ‘altered states of consciousness’. Read my blog The Ultimate Guide To Breathwork if you are new to this topic.
Step 2. Practice
A range of techniques can be considered based on the reasons for seeking support. I am soon to be a certified Oxygen Advantage Certified Instructor and I am currently studying Transformational Breath. I however have explored many forms of breathwork including holotropic breathwork and connected breathing.
Step 3. Progress
Breathwork is no different to another form of self-care: exercise, nutrition, meditation etc. It requires practice, but also improvement isn’t linear. Often people experience tremendous growth or improvement in the short term and then reach a plateau. Continued practice is paramount for the new breathing to advance and take root.