Breathing’s not important!

by Dec 15, 2015Fitness, Wellness0 comments

It just happens right? You breath in and out and go about your day – wrong!

PictureBreath is the essence of life. How long can you go without food
Quite a while I suspect. 

How long can you go without water?
After a couple of days you’d be desperate. Those people that Bear Grylls put on an island were struggling after 3.

How long can you go without breath?
Well I can’t hold my breath for longer than a minute or so. Free divers can go much longer but they are the freaks.

Breath really is the crucial ingredient to life. If you use it wrong it can serve you poorly. If you use it well it can give you a great quality of life. What am I talking about?

Proper breathing can make the difference between being in a state of flux and panic or being relaxed. Good quality breathing will ensure you stay in a calm state, that your nervous system is not poised for action but cool calm and collected. If you body is in this state – your mind is more likely to be as well. Good breathing involves proper belly expanding breaths. Short shallow breathing is what you want to avoid. A few years ago I caught a winter cold. It wasn’t until a year or two later I realised I have developed a sniff as a result of the cold which had become a full blown habit. My breathing had become shallow and I would sniff in my air rather than breathe it in deeply. I was not breathing correctly!

Sometimes doing a “workout” can feel like it’s the best thing to do at the end of a busy day. But if you are frazzled and have been on the go from dawn til dusk a “work in” might be better for you. People who practice yoga have been aware of the benefits of good breathing technique for years. The Zen masters are on another level to the rest of us but I can let you in on a few tricks which will help get you on that journey to relaxation and calmness after a long, cray busy day.

Nostril breathing is one such “working in” exercise that can help tell your nervous system to calm down and switch from fight or flight mode to relaxed and mindful mode. Here’s how: Take your thumb and forefinger (or other) and place on on your nostril while the other hovers over the other nostril. Breath in closing off one nostril and then switch your digits so that you breath out of the other nostril, keep the out breathe long and slow, no snot rockets please!

This technique talks to your para-sympathetic nervous system telling it to switch on thereby switching off your sympathetic nervous system – this is the system responsible for saving your life when you were a caveman! It provides your body with adrenaline and cortisol to evade the lions and the tigers. However, modern man has less need for these than he used to. Nowadays if you have a fright or near miss then this system fires up quickly to get you out of harms way. 
Modern living is putting us into this mode more and more with work stress, environmental stress, caffeine, alcohol amoungst others.

Yes we need to work out – there are multiple benefits but sometimes we also need to work in, to keep the balance.

If you are struggling to find the balance and want to learn more working in techniques contact Rich today for an appointment and an assessment. Email: or call/text: 021777417

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