We are in week 2 of MWF Yoga. Yes, MasterWorks Festival Yoga, conveniently occurring on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. MWF on MWF. As it’s a Wednesday, we have yoga tonight!
I’m not hardcore. Nor am I good. By any stretch (pun. ha.) of the imagination. But, it’s good for me. Throughout the DVDs, there is a lot of talk about breathing. My breathing isn’t something that I think about often. Honestly, it’s not something I’ve ever really thought about. This is a shame, as good breathing is the cornerstone to healthy living. It is estimated that proper, deep breathing eliminates your body of toxins 15 times faster than poor, shallow breathing. Not only will you be healthier by breathing deeper, but you will function better physically and mentally and be less stressed and more relaxed.
On my run yesterday, I discovered that somewhere along the way, I stopped paying attention to the quality of my breathing. I think that this is part of my problem with losing mental energy. The lack of quality oxygen and the build up of carbon dioxide lead to earlier exhaustion. With this realization, my next run will get back to the basics of extremely focused breathing on a pattern (inhale for 3 steps, exhale for 2 steps is my personal favorite).
Benefits of proper, diaphragmatic breathing:
- improved circulation
- increased oxygen and nutrients get to the body’s cells, which enables organs to function better
- the nervous system is enabled to calm down or become stimulated
- the diaphragm massages inner organs when a good, deep breath is taken
- aids the endocrine system, which eliminates waste and strengthens the immune system.
- aids in relaxation, relieves muscular tension, increases flexibility and joint strength, and helps to recover faster from stress and exertion.
When you’re sitting at your desk (or anywhere else where you are sleepy and may not sleep. driving, anyone?) and are about to fall asleep, start breathing deeply. In order to get a good, deep breath, you must breath down and out. It shouldn’t be noisy, and your chest shouldn’t rise. Think about inhaling and filling your abdomen with air (it will distend slightly on inhalation). If that doesn’t make sense, lie with your back flat on the floor, put your hands on your belly, and inhale. That’s what a good, diaphragmatic breath feels like.
Breathe on, people folk!