Are You Breathing “Right”, Right Now?
By: Jenna Davidson
How often do you realize that you’re breathing?
And how many of those breaths are intentional?
Are you mindful of the way you breathe?
On any given day, the average person takes about 20,000 breaths. So, how many of those are dysfunctional? Probably more than anyone would like to admit. A faulty pattern keeps repeating unless you fix it!
“Okay, great--I don’t breathe correctly. What will it mean for me if I do learn how to breathe properly?” Maybe it’s gym related. You want to lift heavier things or decrease your running time. Maybe stress levels are so high right now, you can’t breathe and even suffer from anxiety. Or it’s possible that you just want to learn how to slow the **** down in general. Think about it. When you correct the way you breathe, it improves the quality of your life itself.
Check out our favorite breathing drills that teach you how to breathe again:
CROCODILE BREATHING: 3-5 MINUTES
Start flat on your stomach with the forehead stacked on your hands
Take note of where the breath begins and ends
Relax your face, shoulders, hips and feet
Breathe deep into the belly, using the floor underneath you as feedback-- the more you push your stomach into the ground, the slower and easier the breath becomes
After you feel settled, try to get the breath 360 degrees around your abdomen
Repeat until the breath feels easy and smooth
COMMANDO BREATHING: 2 MINUTES EACH SIDE
Start by lying on your stomach with your forehead on the hands
Bring the same side arm and leg out to about a 90 degree angle, keeping the forehead resting on the other arm
Start to breathe deeply into the belly (and into the floor like croc breathing)
Once you feel comfortable, try to get the breath around your sides and lower back
Switch sides and repeat
Compare how the breath feels from side to side
BABY BREATHING: 3-5 MINUTES
Start flat on your back, knees bent and feet off of the floor
Gently rest your knees in your hands--the goal isn’t to hug your knees into your body hard, but to just hold them lightly
Relax your shoulders down as best you can
This time, expand the belly as you breathe up into your thighs
Repeat until the breath doesn't feel forced
Once you get used to using the floor and your own body to help you find a good breath, you can try the same thing in other positions and in daily life. Pay attention to where the breath goes naturally in times of stress or crises. If you find your chest rising instead of lower belly, remember how the floor felt underneath you. Eventually, this’ll become more natural and normal to you. Remember to breathe deep!
Interested in more information? Want to give RD a try?
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