Friday, September 18, 2015

Don't Forget to Breathe

I used to get annoyed if someone, like a trainer, told me that, or in any situation until I understood the reason for it. I would think, it takes a special kind of stupid to forget to breathe. Sheesh.

When learning Kung-Fu and Tai Chi I learned it. Singers know it. Yogis know it. Runners know it. Weight-lifters know it. And, anyone who is now hunched over, sitting with pinched nerves in their back and shoulders and neck or a sick feeling in your stomach or tears forming or headache starting, should know it.

Nothing can be accomplished without breathing. Simple statement? Of course it is! But I found myself telling my former patients, "Don't forget to breathe!" and wanting to slap myself. It was for their own good. When in pain or doing a difficult or precise task, subconsciously, people hold their breath. Instead, I decided to tell them to count out loud during repetitions and that would force them to breathe. Clever, right?

Then I would to teach them HOW to breathe and at their age they'd gruffly tell me, "I'm still here at this age, right? Obviously I know how to breathe!" Breath isn't from the lungs pushing out, it's the diaphragm being pushed downward and filling the lungs from the bottom, up. It's what a baby does if you watch their little bellies going up and down during sleep.

You tell a grownup to take a deep breath and watch them imitate Superman!

Breathing is gentle and easy. Taking full breaths is energizing and cleansing. Being aware of your breath is calming and can keep you from strangling your coworkers. Who can feel bad knowing you are alive and able to breathe and live because you can breathe? It can change your outlook by learning and paying attention to your own breaths.

Studies have shown that proper breathing with good posture can lower blood pressure, calm anxiety and works on every body system by providing that dear Oxygen to cells. Even brain activity and eyes can improve! You see better if you breathe better. You understand better if you breathe better. You behave better because you breathe better. YAY for Oxygen! It can heal the World's ailments! OK, maybe not all of them.

So when you have that awful feeling where you are taking little 'wasps breaths' as Patsy Stone would say on Absolutely Fabulous and your shoulders are up around your ears, sit up and take a good cleansing, healing, calming breath. In and out. It's not that hard but beneficial in many ways. I hope you were breathing well while reading this.

Reboot Challenge? Sit up straight and smell the roses and blow out the candle.

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