Now, more than ever, we want to be able to focus on the well-being of ourselves and our
bodies. Breathing is a large part of that. As our lives and schedules are busy, we often
don’t have time to slow down and focus on our breath. Let’s do that now…
Breathing properly promotes effective oxygenation of the blood, focuses the mind on
each task and helps avoid unnecessary tension, particularly in the neck, shoulders and
mid-back. Exhaling deeply can also help activate the deep support muscles of the body,
especially the lower abdominals and pelvic floor.
A three-dimensional breath pattern is encouraged, expanding the rib cage in all
directions without neglecting anterior, lateral or posterior portions. This allows us to
receive oxygen in the lower lobes of our lungs, which tend to be an underutilized area.
This 3D breath also allows us to increase the range of available motion in our thoracic
spine, as our rib cage is directly attached to it.
We can begin our breathing focus either in a sitting, hands and knees (quadruped) or
supine (lying on our back) position. We breathe in through our noses to warm the air
and allow us to focus, and we breathe out through the mouth through pursed lips,
allowing us to extend the length of the breath and activate our diaphragm. See the image above for a visual example. Rest your hands on your ribcage for feedback to feel your ribcage and chest expansion and contraction as you breathe in and out.
We hope that all of you can take a few minutes each day to practice your breath.