We do it thousands of times a day but rarely think about it. It affects our stress levels, hormonal balance, heart rate, immune system and many other key autonomic body functions.
“It” is your breath. Out of the various factors that produce optimal health, breathing might be the least understood.
Our respiratory system links to every other system in our body, and the secret to that working properly is engaging our key breathing muscle–the diaphragm.
In short, the way you breathe has a lasting effect on your body and brain. At Nimble Fitness, we see “stress” breathing and its results every day.
The good news is that it’s really easy to reset your breath. This breath reset brings your nervous system back to a calm “rest and repair” state and engages your deep core muscles back into the picture to support your lower spine!
BREATH “REST & RESET”
- Sit comfortably, away from the back of your chair, and with your knees lower than your hips.
- Imagine a string tied to the top of your head pulling you up — better posture goes hand in hand with better breathing.
- Place one hand just below your collarbone and the other hand over your naval. If you are breathing in stress mode, your upper hand will move first when you breathe. We want you to engage your diaphragm.
- Inhale thru your nose into your lower hand and feel your torso below the rib cage gently expand. This is your diaphragm in action, which attaches to both your rib cage and spine, creating space for your lungs to expand. This is efficient breathing at work.
- Exhale slowly through your nose. Don’t push the air out, simply release it. This is your diaphragm again, doing its work. If it feels slow and easy, then you are doing it right. Breathing should feel easy and light; shoulders and neck muscles don’t have to work.
Do repeats of 5 easy breaths at time. Inhale for 3-5 seconds, and exhale for 5-7 seconds through the nose, low and slow. Feel your breathing tempo slow down, feel the space between your breaths expand.
Enjoy! You’ve just accomplished two things :
- You’ve sent a signal to your nervous system, through the vagus nerve, to restore your parasympathetic state, or rest and repair.
- You’ve reignited your deep core by activating your diaphragm.
If you would like to learn more about optimal breathing, or would like to schedule an assessment appointment with one of Nimble’s owners, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!