The importance of breathe
Recently i have been adding in a lot of yoga practice into my weekly training. Its awesome.
Our teaching, Cindy Bright, who is all kinds of amazing always places emphasis on the “full yoga breath”, which is the centre of all the asanas.
In Pilates when I am instructing a class, we always start with breathing technique, essentially how to use the diaphragm and the abdominal musculature to achieve full complete inhalation to exhalation in a functional way.
The yoga and Pilates breath is almost identical, based on the anatomical and physiological functional of how the diaphragm expands the rib cage in conjunction with he deep abdominals contractions to promote complete exhalation.
learning how to breathe is rather complex, our daily lives of sitting at computers, in cars and watching TV slouched in couches promote poor postures which inhibit functional breathing.
I also see many people iin the gym training with poorly designed and executed exercise programs which are exacerbating poor breathing.
So what happens if you breathe poorly. well the guys over at the Posture Restoration Institute have shown that poor breathing patterns can
– Increase sympathetic “fight or flight” responses and anxiousness
– Impairs nerve conduction
– Vasoconstricts peripheral and gastrointestinal vessels
– Restricts circulation in cerebral cortex
– Shunts blood flow peripherally
– Impairs coronary arterial flow
– Promotes fatigue, weakness, irregular heart rate, etc.
– Impairs breathing and weakens diaphragm contractility
– Increases overuse of “thoracic breathing”
– Enhances peripheral neuropathic symptoms
– Enhances sympathetic adrenaline activity and hypersensitivity to lights and sounds
– Increases phobic dysfunction, panic attacks, restless leg syndromes, heightened vigilance, etc.
– Facilitates catastrophic thinking and hypochondria
Lucky for us we can re learn correct breathing patterns, its actually not that hard, just requiring 5 – 10 minutes per day. If you haven’t done any before then i would encourage attending yoga or pilates classes to learn how, your mind and body will thank you
Interesting enough that most mediation practices include deep breathing exercises, which makes a lot of sense if you can see the positive effects that it has on promoting parasympathetic nervous system.
Meditation will pretty much have the opposite of the above effects.
Who doesn’t want to be calm, relaxed and feel rejuvenated.