A first step toward self-care, good exercise, and getting in tune with your mind+body is learning how to breathe properly.
We are HUGE fans of belly breathing as it helps you become present with daily life but also in big moments like exercise, birth, and postpartum recovery. We help new moms HERE!
Being aware of your breath is a superpower many of us overlook!
Your breath when rapid and involuntary can bring on more issues like an increase in stress and anxiety. When long and voluntary can yield the feel good hormones to help you relax and hold your space with gratitude and focus.
When you learn to use deep belly breathing to your advantage the benefits are quite major:
- A relaxed central nervous system.
- When we feel anxious, scared, nervous we breathe short and shallow breaths that bring on tense and tight feelings as well as increase our stress hormone, cortisol, and limit our “happy” hormone, dopamine.
- Reduced heart rate and blood pressure. When your nervous system is relaxed and amply oxygen flows through your brain, our heart rate and blood pressure are at optimal levels.
- When doing physical exercise belly breathing will allow you to connect to your body and utilize the resource of breath to give you power and support.
- Belly breathing contracts and expands your diaphragm. This allows you to engage your pelvic floor and abdomen, thus activating your core muscles that connect to your back and hips for good strong movements.
Don’t know how to breathe with your diaphragm? Let’s go through the steps.
- Find a comfortable seat.
- Allow shoulders to soften, down and away from the ears, be conscious about relaxing your shoulders, the jaw and feeling your neck elongate.
- Place one hand on your chest, and one on the center of your stomach, just bellow the belly button.
- Inhale a big breath through your nostrils and feel your belly expand and fill with air.
- Exhale slowly through your nostrils or mouth and draw your navel inward to the spine to expel all air. Keep the jaw and lips relaxed.
- Repeat 10-15 times and close your eyes. We often suggest picturing a wave rising and crashing, or a balloon filling and deflating.