It wasn't so long ago that I remember being in a yoga class where the teacher decided that the first 5 minutes of class would be focused on breathing.
When I say breathing I won't underestimate the difference from what my body was used to; i.e. a full inhalation expanding my ribs and allowing my belly to fully expand all to a count of 5 & then a controlled exhale for the same amount of time.
This led me to question... Why can't I breathe properly? Why doesn't my chest expand? Well, the truth is as a burnt out worker, my body had learned to take quick, short breaths keeping me at the pace of which I operated. When I later spoke to the teacher to question my inability to have flexibility in my chest to expand fully she told me that my diaphragm was definitely tight & restricted & like any under-used muscle I would need to train it for its full use again.
This became the start of my fascination around breath. As a coach that supports busy professionals to incorporate easy steps to gain back their health, I soon came to realise what I'd actually tapped into was what yogis all knew. The source of our energy is breath. Here's why:
When we breathe we access fuel for our body through oxygen. The breath allows us, if done correctly, to fully oxygenate our cells & therefore provide direct access to energy.
Without oxygen, we die and therefore without a full breath in & out how can we feel in optimal health. It's believed many of us use as little as 20% of our full breathe capacity when taking a breath.
We have learnt modern day bad habits that limit our breath, such as stopping our yawns, avoiding sighs ( which allows for a full exhale), breathing through our mouths instead of the nose which provides an excellent filter & also helps our body to understand it's not under stress.
Through breath work exercises such as belly breathing, circular breathing, pranayama classes we can train these valuable muscles to self-activate so we can access a powerful source, the root to our energy tank!
So next time when you open your eyes & the fatigue comes over you, take 3 deep breathes into your stomach & access what your body has ensured you have access to, your own battery of energy.
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