Learning to take a “healthy, proper” breath

Posted Friday, August 3rd, 2012. Filed Under My Daily Dose

I was reading a short article in the Reader’s Digest,August 2012, written by Roger Collier, entitled, Waiting to Exhale that had some very interesting tips on breathing.

Babies inherently know how to breath, they are experts. We see the gentle rise and fall of their bellies as they sleep. This is a sign that they are inhaling for optimal health – deeply, from their diaphragm. As we get older our breath becomes short, rapid and shallow – an inefficient means of supplying oxygen to our cells, and sending our stress-response systems into overdrive.

The result is burnout, a weakened immune system and disease.

We take breathing for granted! We don’t pay attention to it until it becomes a problem.

I have found through my yoga and pilate to breath much differently.

Here are some of the benefits to body and mind when you learn to breath properly:

* Oxygen is the brain’s elixir. Deep breaths can improve mental acuity while reducing stress, anxiety, and depression;
* Proper breathing expands the lungs and opens their air pockets, making for a stronger, more efficient infection-resistant respiratory system;
* Deep breathing improves circulation and oxygenates blood, reducing the heart’s effort to deliver oxygen to body tissues;
* According to yoga tradition, belly breaths expel toxins and help the cleansing organs – the liver, gallbladder and kidneys – detoxify the body;
* Forget sit-ups. Not only does diaphragmatic breathing strengthen stomach muscles, it also stimulates the pancreas and small intestine, improving circulation and digestion:
* Deep breathing stimulates the lymphatic system, the part of the immune system that produces disease-fighting antibodies.

For those that do not know how to or have difficulty breathing, turn to a “professional” (alternative, complementary and/or conventional) to teach you how. All it takes is practice and a few minutes a day. The benefits are worth it!

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