This has been put together by Ginny Haswell, our Yoga Instructor, for which I am truly thankful because many of you Coasters find it difficult to breathe correctly.  This results in you breathing very shallow or Chest Breathing, especially when you are stressed. Poor breathing habits result in not only insufficient oxygen exchange, but when breathing is shallow, the neck muscles have to work much harder to (unnaturally) lift the upper ribcage and commonly results in neck pain and/or headaches.

Alternatively, deep breathing or Abdominal Breathing, which means you are breathing from the belly, results in expansion of your belly,  your lower ribcage and lower back as you inhale. Therefore, on inhalation, you are naturally massaging your inner organs aiding in detoxification and peristalsis, which is the movement of the intestines necessary for a healthy bowel. Deep breathing also helps to promote blood flow  and pump the lymph more efficiently through our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system,  is an important part of our immune system and has a great impact on your health.

So take the time to read this – relax and give yourself an internal massage.

Abdominal Breathing 

The abdominal breath enhances the action of the diaphragm, which when functioning correctly, promotes the most efficient type of breathing (as opposed to chest breathing) as less effort is used to obtain the same amount of air.  Abdominal breathing, also referred to as diaphragmatic breathing, is associated with physical and mental wellbeing yet it can often be lost due to poor posture, tight clothing and tension.

Lie down and observe your own natural breath for a minute or two.

Place the right hand on the abdomen just above the navel and the left hand over the centre of the chest. 

Breathe from the diaphragm so that the right hand will move up with inhalation, down with exhalation whilst the left hand should not move with the breath.

There should be no tension in the abdomen.

Do not force the movement but try not to expand the chest or move the shoulders. 

Continue for at least a few minutes and notice the feeling of relaxation that washes over you.

Written by Ginny Haswell

Ginny Haswell is doing a Relaxation Yoga Workshop on Saturday, 22nd January 2011.  Book your place by calling the clinic on 01273 321133

Hope this has helped. We would appreciate any comments and any suggestions on what you would like us to write about.  Happy breathing…

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