How do you breathe better?
With new variants of Covid lurking round the corner, it is essential to know what we can do to help ourselves breathe better. Good breathing is extremely important for a healthy immune system able to deal with any kind of virus. Good breathing promotes relaxation and healing. It's a great skill to tap into whenever needed.
First, notice when you hold your breath! or when your shoulders start creeping up. Learning to self-observe is a fantastic skill to develop, both from the outside (using a mirror) and from the inside (connecting to inner sensations). To read more on this topic, I invite you to read an earlier post called Body awareness in daily life: neck and shoulders
Secondly, check out Katy Bowman's latest Advent calendar called Take a Breather. I haven't had time to follow along this year, apart from the first few moves, due to work and family commitments as well as a the arrival of a new puppy. As Katy demonstrates, breathing is not just about our lungs, it's about all the parts that are directly involved in the mechanics of breathing and more besides, starting with shoulders: "...the movement of our lungs and our ability to breathe is impacted by the mobility of the parts that surround our thoracic cavity and lungs. Thus, we begin our journey to breathing well with shoulder movement!"
Finally, reading about better breathing is great it but it is the practice that will make the real difference, which is why I've decided to spend time focusing on each "breathe better" movement, making videos which I will share in my online library soon.
Think consistency and patience with each move, and you don't have to spend an hour each day, unless you want to or can't sleep at night, which is a great time to practise! Pick a time that suits you and make your practice very short - just a few is excellent.
If you only do one of the moves, you might want to do the Windmill - it's one of my favourite moves as it involves so many parts: hand, arm, shoulder, chest, ribcage and waist muscles. I personally find it a simple and powerful stress buster!
Do not hesitate to et me know how it feels to you if you give it a go!