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Really? How to breath…sounds silly right? Well actually, no, according to studies around 80% of us don’t breathe properly.
As babies we all had a natural breath, but over the years many of us lost this and developed shallow breathing.
So, how do you know if you have a natural breathe – here’s a quick simple test to find out.
Put one hand on the upper chest and one hand on the lower belly and observe:
Shallow Breath: when you breath in you feel it in your upper chest, your shoulders move up and you might feel like you are breathing up and getting taller on the inbreath and getting shorter on the outbreath.
Natural Breath: where you take air into your lower lungs. On your inbreath your belly expands, and your upper chest and back lift slightly, with no movement or tension in the shoulders. Some people call this belly breathing.
Why does this even matter?
Shallow breathing can cause anxiety, neck and shoulder pain and poor sleep. Natural breathing aids our physical and mental wellbeing with many benefits, including reduce stress, improved immunity, increased energy and better sleep.
How to breath naturally
Sit comfortably, shoulders back and no slouching. Take a slow breath in through your nose whilst feeling the abdomen rise like a balloon. Hold then breathe out through pursed lips. As a guide breath in for 4, hold for 2 and breath out for 6. Practice this for 5-10 mins each day.
Advanced tip: on the inhale feel the expansion on the front, sides and back of your abdomen, maximising your oxygen intake.