|“I've got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t!”
Not to sound too morbid, but if you are not breathing you’re not living—literally.
Now, please take a moment to inhale. Breathe in through the noise. Fill the lungs. Softly exhale through the mouth. Notice that when you inhale your ribs expand. The chest lifts and the muscles in the upper torso are stretched. As you exhale the ribs gently fall and your abdominals engage, bringing you back to your core.
Do you feel lighter, hopefully a little calmer and more aware of your body? With the constant go-go-go mentality these days and the rat race pace we all try and keep up with, most people don’t adequately breathe. Sadly, this starves the body of valuable oxygen. Not taking time to fully breathe can put major stress on the body and contribute to undesired health issues. The simple act of noticing your breath at any point in time can do wonders for your wellbeing.
As humans, our respiratory system separates us from all of the other animals on Earth. We are the only species that can control our breathing independent of our body’s action. This simple fact allows us to be sprinters, long distant runners and swimmers.
For example, a cheetah’s leg muscles are attached to its diaphragm. When it runs faster the lungs pump harder, delivering more oxygen when needed. Our leg muscles are not attached to our diaphragm or lungs. This gives us the power to hold our breath or breathe faster when needed. Our respiratory system contains both voluntary muscles, like the external and internal intercostal muscles of the ribs and the diaphragm, as well as many involuntary muscles—such as the lungs. All of this means you can consciously control your breathing to point of manipulating it.
Or you can go all through life never think about it and some how still be alive.
With the complexity of breathing, the pace of life, the stress of our society and the impact it all has on our bodies, learning how to breathe is another tool or secret weapon you can gain to provide yourself a better quality of health and living. Studies have shown stress to be the number one cause of disease, including depression, hypertension and much more. Learning few different ways to breathe can be priceless.
Within all of the various yoga and Pilates practices there are numerous techniques to help you realize the potential of breathing. At ALIGN we know that a good quality Pilates and yoga sessions will get you breathing differently.
Here’s what happens when you take five minutes out of your day and do a few breathing exercises:
- Your muscles relax—you’ll find it’s difficult to maintain a lot of physical tension when you are breathing properly.
- Oxygen delivery improves—fresh oxygen is then able to pour into every cell of the body, increasing the functionality of every system in the body.
- Blood pressure lowers. As your muscles let go of tension your blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure can return to a normal level.
- Endorphins are released helping with feelings of well-being, as well as providing pain relief.
- Detoxification improves—good breathing habits help the lymphatic system function properly, encouraging the release of harmful toxins, cleansing the body, giving it power to direct its energy to more productive functions.
- Most of our clients at ALIGN notice that after a breathing session they look ten times younger with more vitality and sparkle in their eyes.
- You will also notice improved mental concentration and physical stamina.