Do you ever feel tired for no good reason? For some reason your energy just gets drained sometimes? Let me tell you, you are not alone and my guess is that about 90 percent of people today (at least in the western world) spend their days without enough oxygene in their system. Oxygene as we all know is vital to proper operation of our bodily functions but we seem to deliberately train our bodies to use less and less oxygene. Not because there is a purpose to it but because we force it to by not supplying enough oxygene. What happens to an engine that doesn’t get the oxygene it needs? At first it will continue to run without much difference but pretty soon it will lower it power output and after a while it will stall. Basically the same thing happens to the human body although the time we can work sub-optimaly can be quite long, so long in fact that we think it is the normal way.If you want to look for a silver lining here it is that you have untapped powers within you within reach. The only thing you need to do to use them is to breathe. I mean BREATHE!!!!!!
Are you aware?
How much attention do you pay to your breathing? My guess is, very little. For most people breathing is just as automatic as we expect it to be. This ought to be all well and good but as I hinted before, when a bad habit becomes automatic you are on a slippery slope.
First of all let us define what good breathing is. Number one is of course to supply your body with enough oxygene but it doesn’t stop there. Good breathing also getting rid of the stale air in your lungs that contain the gases your body is trying to get rid of. If your breathing is shallow, only the air in the top of your lungs is ventilated and you only get rid of part of the stale air. This basically means that the oxygene content in your lungs is less than the oxygene content of the air you breath in. Further good breathing stimulates your central nervous system which means that tension in your body can be released. Shallow breathing however will instead create more tension, especially in your neck and shoulders.
OK, time to increase our awareness. How do you breathe? Let’s make a quick test, sit on a chair with your back straight, place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest, close your eyes and breath for a few seconds. Take at least ten breaths, do it now!
Done? What did you notice? How did your hands move? If the hand on your stomach moved out when you breath in and the hand on your chest was more or less still you are in good shape and you are dismissed for today. More likely though is that your hand on your chest moves outwards when breathing in and the hand on your stomach stays still, or worse, moves inwards. If this was the case, read on to find out how to improve your breathing and gain unlimited power…. Sorry, I got carried away.
Now, let’s take a look at why this way of breathing is bad. Shouldn’t the chest move? The lungs are in there, right? Well, true but for the lungs to expand properly when being filled with air they need to expand downwards, there is much more potential space there. However if your abdomen moves inwards when you breath in, it will be in the way and your lungs are squashed and cannot expand as much. The proper way to fill your lungs is from the bottom and to accomplish that your diaphragm has to move oput of the way first and not until the lower parts of the lungs are filled does the rib cage need to expand. Basically the upper part of the chest only needs to move when you take really deep breaths. For normal breathing, abdominal breathing is sufficient. Another positive effect of abdominal breathing is that the area around your solar plexus gets a bit of a massage. This stimuli then sends signals to the rest of your body to relax.
How to regain proper breathing
Now we know what we want to achieve, so how to we get back to this kind of breathing? Basically you need to retrain your body to breath from your gut. This is what you do, every night before going to sleep put one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest and simply breath for a few minutes. Relax and concentrate on making sure that your belly is rising and that your chest stays more or less still. You can also do this a few times throughout your day especially at times when you feel stressed. What happens is that your body will notice how relaxing it is at the same time as your intent to breath from your gut will reprogram your nervous system. Before long you will have regained proper breathing as your default breathing and this is when the rest of the magic happens. A relaxed oxinated body is a great place for an attentive mind. Enjoy your super powers!
How is your breathing?