May 2010
After completing my first back care series, I realized that I haven’t written about the importance of breathing.  Beside the fact that we need to breath to survive, a breathing practice is an important part of a yoga practice and an important part of healing yourself; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
There are so many simple observational practices you can do to create a healthy more consistent breath for yourself.  5-10 minutes a day of focus on your breathing can change how you breath on a regular basis.  This is such a small amount of time.  And it feels really good to breath. So instead of giving you a pose of the month, I thought I would challenge you to a breathing practice this month.
Some important reasons for changing your breathing habits are:

1.  Better breathing improves posture, better posture makes movement feel more fluid. An elevated rib cage give support to shoulders, neck, and head.  Reduced shoulder tension gives freer movement to arms and relaxed arms helps generate freer hip and leg movement. Wow, can you believe all that from just your breath.

2.  Good or poor breathing habits affest every aspect of our bodies functioning, from our mental state to out digestive system.  Breathing is central to our posture and to the way we move.  It has a huge influence on our appearance, health, mental outlook, emotional resilience, and capacity to manage stress.

 

3.  Expansion and contraction of your lungs massages your heart as you breathe.  At the same time, the diaphragm pulls and pushes on your heart from below, assisting in blood flow.  When your spine is extended by good breathing, the fascial envelope around the heart stretches, contributing to a balance of pressure around the heart.  For these reasons, healthy posture and breathing support the heart.
Love, Shauna

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