Friday, 23 May 2014

Watch your breath....Ensure you are breathing the right way.

I HAVE A CONFESSION. I am guilty of not breathing the right way until I started practicing yoga. I think it's a common theory that the chest moves up and down during breathing. I was so WRONG! When we breathe this way, we fail to maximize the use of a vital piece of muscle called the diaphragm. The "RIGHT" way of breathing is actually to allow the chest and stomach/abdominal/rib cage region to expand and contract as we breathe. This way we can increase the lung capacity to hold more air and utilize every single muscle between the rib cage (intercostal muscles) which I can't even pronounce. Not forgetting the 'mighty' diaphragm which is completely put to work during abdominal breathing.

Good! Now you have learnt how to breathe the RIGHT way. But how do you know if you are  breathing RIGHT all the time? For most of us, our mind and body is familiar with chest breathing and it is going to take a little bit of practise to bring the body back to abdominal breathing. The reason why I say you need to 'bring your mind and body back to abdominal breathing' is because we are actually designed to breathe that way since we were born. The way I rectified my breathing pattern back to abdominal breathing was pretty simple. It requires more awareness compared to physical effort. From the day I realized my breathing pattern was out of order, I began reminding myself at different time of the day to focus on my breathing. For instance, if I'm watching television and suddenly I remember about my breath, I would shift my focus to my breathing and make adjustments. It's like a shock to the system. After being consistent for a week or so, now I only breathe the RIGHT way (I checked my breathing right before typing this sentence). So check yourself if you're breathing the RIGHT or if it's time to make adjustments. Believe me, breath is far more important compared to anything in the world.

Did you know, according to yogic science, breath actually determines your life span!


~M~