Breath is life force and essential to supporting all the functions and systems in our bodies, thereby regulating health. Those with imbalanced health generally have compromised, shortened or reverse breathing patterns.
As you see in healthy babies, their bellies expand and their ribcage expands 3-dimensionally as they inhale, both releasing and drawing inward slightly on their exhale. This happens without thought, holding or restriction. This normal breath pattern is called Diaphragmatic Breathing.
A quality breath depends on a healthy well functioning Diaphragm. The diaphragm lays horizontally, like a tent across the base of the ribcage, contracting and descending on the inhale to draw breath into the lungs, lengthening and ascending to send the breath out of the lungs.
A well moving diaphragm generates Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) as it works with the trunk and abdominal muscles to create internal positive pressure, resulting in functional strength and stability. Intra-abdominal regulators are the thoracic diaphragm, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
As we age and experience stress, societal pressure and traumas., without us even realising it, our breathing becomes affected and good function of the Diaphragm is compromised. Shallow or irregular breath displays most often as a “puffing” or an upward movement of the chest. Poor breathing is also displayed when there is little to no ribcage movements with an inhale and exhale. Mouth breathing, frequent sighing and yawning may also indicate that the breath is not full or efficient.
The inability to breathe well has significant effects on our mental clarity, digestion, sense of well-being, sleep patterns, peace of mind and overall health. The absence of a quality breath is directly tied to mind/body tension and pain and long term, dis-ease and chronic conditions.
Since our breath is so tied to body, mind and spirit, mastering diaphragmatic breathing leaves us feeling lighter, more energized, in less pain, with more clarity and peace of mind. – Carrie Meyer
There is so much to learn and share around breathing. And part of our goal with this blog is to educate clients about why breath is so important. It is the foundation of the practice of yoga and one of the most important tools that we use as SomaYoga therapists.
How well do you breath?
How would you describe mood and energy level?
Do you feel like you can take a full inhale and exhale?
Keep learning with us. Try one of our online classes so you can feel better, sleep better and breathe better. Become a member of our Video on Demand Channel so you can keep learning, get out of pain and feel strong and vibrant.