Breathing. Everyone does it if alive. But do you know how to breathe properly? Many people take shallow breaths through their mouth, rather than breathing gently through the nose. If you’ve ever attended a meditation or yoga class, you would know that breathing properly often requires some training, in a world where many people are so stressed, they kind of forget how to breathe naturally.
Breathe is a book of breath exercises by a sound healer and wellness coach. Shanila Sattar offers 33 ways to boost your mood, energy, inner healing, sleep, relaxation and grounding. Create your own breathing tool kit, made by you for you. Breathwork is a 25000 year old practice that can even help to manage chronic pain.
Obvious good breathing is helped by fresh air, nontoxic beauty and cleaning products and a smoke-free environment. But anyone can learn to breathe better, by adopting simple habits. Considering you breathe in and out around 22,000 times a day (more for babies), what can we do to breathe better?
If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. Dr Andrew Neil
Feelings come and go, like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. Thich Nhat Hanh
You cannot breathe deeply, and worry at the same time. Sonia Choquette
Our lungs fuel the bodies with oxygen, which keeps us alive. They then pass the oxygen through the bloodstream and it’s carried to the tissues to help us carry out daily functions. The carbon dioxide is then released on exhalations. Our lungs work faster when awake, and slower when asleep. We also tend to breathe quicker when stressed, or of course, when exercising, like running for a bus!
The lungs are actually different. The left lung is smaller (to allow space for your heart) and has two lobes, while the right larger lung has three lobes. You can actually live with one lung (Pope Francis only has one, due to an illness when younger). People with healthy lungs tend to be non-smokers who exercise, which gives a larger lung capacity.
When you breathe in, you actually inhale other gases like helium, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and breathe out water, along with carbon dioxide. Learning to breathe properly helps your body to eliminate waste, as the lungs remove around 70% of all body waste, mostly as carbon dioxide. The hairs in your nose help to filter any waste particles, as air travels through the body from the mouth to the throat to the trachea and into the bronchial tubes. The diaphragm muscle controls nearly all our breath work.
Breathing is automatic most of the time (just like swallowing or the beating of the heart). However, most people inhale through just one nostril, and in yoga, you can often calm your mind through learning to switch which nostril you breathe from, using a special exercise. This is important, as without proper breathing for five minutes, you could die. When things go wrong, it can cause respiratory illnesses ranging from mild (the common cold) to lung cancer. Of course in recent years, COVID-19 has become a respiratory illness, to add to the list.
Breathe Like a Bear is a book to teach children mindful breathing. This beautifully illustrated collection of 30 simple short breathing practices and movements can be performed anywhere, including during homework or at a child’s desk. Or take a Bunny Breath