Deep breathing helps relax us and reduce the impact of stress. If you are having trouble sleeping, deep breathing can help to shut down an active mind and calm the central nervous system making falling asleep easier. With our active lifestyles, we need lots of energy and good health. Many of us only use 30 – 40 per cent of our lungs’ capacity which results in loss of energy and can contribute to illnesses. Learning to breathe deeply is a very easy and effective way of increasing your vitality and improving your health and connectedness.
We recommend learning more about the mechanics of breathing by trying the ribular breathing exercise and by watching Katy Bowman (Mechanics of Breathing).
This can be done either seated or standing. Take a stretchy band (or if you don't have one, a strap or even a scarf can do the trick) and wrap it around your ribs. Do your best to let your shoulders soften and relax and then as you breathe in, see of you can stretch the band or put tension on the strap by expanding your ribs. Make sure your shoulders don't lift up around/towards your ears. As you exhale, feel the tension on the band release. Continue for a minute or so, paying attention to the movement of the ribs.