Written by Kristen, kids yoga, vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga, and yoga twist instructor at Hot Feet Fitness.
I often have my clients ask me why it is so important to practice breathing. Like because they do it all the time it has lost any value or intention and is just automatic and disconnected from everything else. However, the opposite is true. Breathing is the easiest way of understanding our underlying emotions and of our physical experience. It creates opportunity for transformation because it connects us so completely with all that we are capable.
How are you breathing right now?
When you take control of your breath, take control of body and mind.
Direct the breath down into your tummy. Put your hands on your belly. Feel it move. It gets bigger as you inhale and smaller as you exhale. Inhale deeply and exhale completely just once and you can notice the mind is calmer and more peaceful.
Direct the breathe into the ribs. Wrap your thumbs around the back of your waist and try to feel you breathe with your fingers. The ribs move like an umbrella, opening on an inhale and closing on an exhale. This wider breathing can support space between the middle and lower back, giving posture support where we need it most. Try it and notice that the core has to turn on and be more supportive, not to mention this requires focus and intention. So we drop into a different frequency of consciousness, no longer riding the waves of thought, but getting still and aware.
Now direct your breath into your chest. Bring your fingertips under your collar bones and feel the breath down at your sternum. The shoulders become more relaxed, if they were not already, and the neck feels less burdened, because the head will naturally come back into better alignment when we breathe into the chest.
Naturally the way we breathe supports good posture and even a good mood. These things are not disconnected. Feeling good comes from breathing good, just like observing how your breathing can be labored or shallow with stress.
One of the easiest ways to support good posture is to breathe well. Not just breathing into the tummy, but to breathe into the sides and back of the ribs as well as the chest. This three-part breathing will enhance your proprioception, interception, and general self awareness.
Please don't take my word for it. Don't just believe what I am saying. Challenge yourself. Transformation starts in the transition from inhale to exhale and exhale to inhale. Do you want to feel better? Start by breathing better.