Breathe deep for better health and sleep……zzzzz…..

So, I had another amazing yoga class last night. I really focused on aligning my breathing with each movement as it is incredibly good for my powers of concentration and I also find that I don’t get taken away by my thoughts. If you have trouble sleeping, I’d highly recommend taking a class. …

One of the many benefits of practising yoga is that it teaches you to breathe properly….There are so many people out there that don’t know how to! Yes, of course everyone knows how to breathe…. It’s an automatic function we perform without having to think about it…. But over time we lose our natural breathing ability that we were born with and we end up with a shallow breathing habit which only goes as far as the chest region….The kind of breathing I’m talking about is the one that allows oxygen to go right down into your diaphragm….I once assumed that was how everyone breathed, or could if they wanted to….Until I was discussing this with a lady I once lived with. She only ever breathed into her chest, and as much as I tried to coach her, she couldn’t breathe into her belly…. It left me puzzled…. She was amazed that people could even do that?!…For me it’s as easy as blinking but I couldn’t for the life of me show her how to do it herself. It’s a shame because she had a little stress going on and I know that if she could have done some deep relaxation breathing, it would have really helped her….

So with my best explanation abilities, I will attempt to convey one way of doing it….

  1.  Get comfortable in any position and put your hands on your chest and stomach.
  2.  Focus on your breath until you feel your stomach rise and fall, a bit like inflating and deflating a balloon in your belly.
  3. Breathe in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth. The time it takes to exhale should be about twice what it is to inhale….One effective breathing pattern is to breathe in for a count of 4, hold the breathe in for a count of 7, and breathe out slowly for a count of 8.
  4. Do it slowly and stay as relaxed as possible…Do 4-8 breath cycles 1-3 times every day. Especially before going to sleep…

After doing this a while, you may find that you feel calmer and you will sleep soundly….Most of us are sleep deprived due to the chaotic nature of life, so this exercise will really help….It’s such a simple and extremely healthy thing to do, and far better than taking a sleeping pill….Enjoy!….ZZZZZ

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