We all breathe. It’s a natural process. But we often adopt bad habits that can result in physical and mental problems. The good thing is that it’s easily fixed. You just need to recognise what you are doing. I recently checked my 18-year old daughter’s breathing.
'Breathe in' and she pulled her stomach in. 'Breathe out' and she puffed out her belly. The complete opposite of what she should be doing. Perhaps it’s the words 'in' and 'out' that cause this confusion.
When you breathe in, your lungs fill, and the diaphragm (the green muscle on the diagram) pushes down. The only place for your belly to go is outwards. When you breathe in, the diaphragm springs back up, and your belly pulls back in again.
Incorrect breathing can result in anxiety and panic attacks. Panic attacks can be immensely frightening because it’s as though you have no control. And if you've suffered one, the thought of another can double the anxiety. Something that starts out as physical problem, can actually morph into a mental one. The thought of experiencing another might even cause you to avoid normal everyday situations you had no problem with previously.
Learning to breathe from your belly is a good way of regaining control and bringing health back into your mind and body. Getting more oxygen into the blood works wonders for your mental outlook and physical well-being. Why not visit the Breathing Clinic and learn how.
Caroline practises and teaches yoga in Glasgow Scotland and runs The Publishing Cupboard. She is the creator of the Nod off Series (where yoga meets grammar learning). If you want to get to grips with French, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese grammar, in a pain-free yogic way, visit www.nodoff.co.uk
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