But it’s not *always* bad…
Exhaling through the mouth is an efficient way to empty the lungs, making room for more fresh oxygen. By breathing in through our nose and out through the mouth when exercising, we can improve our lung capacity and eliminate toxins purposefully.
Our breath is influential in our state of mind - focusing on our breath when we are anxious, feeling stressed or upset is a powerful way to reset, bring our mind back to calm.
There are two really simple ways you can improve your sleep...
1. Check your pillows are the right support for your neck and spinal alignment.
The easiest way to do this is to book in with a physio to check your sleeping posture and alignment or a reformer pilates instructor about exercises to correct neck, shoulder, upper back and chest muscles to improve “the posture of the airways” for better breathing habits. This will help you improve your posture when you are awake and when you’re sleeping!
2. Practice conscious breathing, teaching your lungs, diaphragm and solar plexus to expand and contract with deep breaths.
The more you practice this consciously, the more it’ll become second nature to you. To help you with a simple breathing technique, we've got some steps listed out below. Feel free to have these steps handy for when you do the 10-minute process at home. Once you do it a few times, it'll become second nature and you'll be able to easily incorporate it into your day.
We’d like to set you a challenge this month - a breathing challenge!
Yes we know you breathe all the time, but do you really breathe in a way that benefits your health, mind and energy levels?
Find a time of day or evening that suits you to step out of the busyness.
For some, this means when they first wake up helping to get the day started. For others, when they settle into bed at night and everything is done, free to focus on breathing and no other distractions!
Or maybe your lunch break might be the time a little breathing exercise can empty out the tired air from the lungs and rejuvenate energy levels and a clear mind.
You may find at first you get a little lightheaded, especially with the arm raising or the belly pushing out steps. Be conscious of your limits and allow yourself to stop and slip back to regular in and out breathing if you feel the need to.
Or you may simply notice the sensation but feel you're okay to continue. Then you can simply allow the headiness to pass while the blood, cells, lungs, brain and whole body are saturated with a wonderful exchange of oxygen and carbon, eliminating toxins and waste with the breath.
When you are lifting your arms you are helping to both strengthen and expand the ribs and lateral muscles down the side of your body and exercise your diaphragm. Actually, all of these breathing steps are helping to exercise the diaphragm. A muscle band that sits under the lungs with the solar plexus, responsible, amongst other things, for drawing the lungs down and maintaining air capacity.
The combination of our posture often being a little stooped or folding forward, the diaphragm is often not very engaged in our breathing process. We tend to breathe in the top of our lungs only, subconsciously taking a sigh or yawning occasionally to empty our lungs a little more when our body is depleted of fresh air.
We’d like to challenge you to find the time each day to do this breathing process for a month.
Set a time for each day and try to stick to that time. Don’t make it the only time though. If you feel stressed, anxious or tired, take a few moments and do it, even if it's just a shorter version.
Breathe through the few minutes of anxiety or stress, focus on your breath and feel the very real benefits of oxygenating your lungs, cells, and brain. Stay there until you feel the moment pass.
Do the breath challenge for your Self, hopefully the habit you create with this challenge means you will continue to exercise your lungs.
Our respiratory system and our breath are an essential basis of our health and wellbeing and there is no time like the present to strengthen our lungs, eliminate toxins, improve our breathing habits and BE PRESENT xx
If you do end up doing the challenge, take a pic or time-lapse and tag us on Instagram in a post or stories or on Facebook - #mayellaorganics. This helps to share the fun of breathing and is an amazing way to inspire others when you do something good for yourself xx
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