How to Breathe

How to Breath
This, I know, sounds like a very silly title. Breathing is something we all know how to do, but for some people taking a full, deep, nourishing breath is not a seamless task.  

When we inhale our diaphragm descends down into out belly and our ribs expand in all directions. This gives out lungs opportunity to expand to their full potential. In order to allow the diaphragm room to descend, our belly should go out when we inhale and in on our exhale. I like to use the imagery of a bellows, you know...that thing they used to stoke fires in the old days.

In a bellows the expansion of the bottom brings the air in the top. We don't need to suck air in through our nose or mouth. We simply need to expand our base and the air will come in. That means we can keep our face, neck and shoulders relaxed when we take a deep breath.
 The expansion should start in our low belly...imagine filling the bowl of your pelvis...and then move upward to our upper belly, then our lower rib cage, then our middle rib cage, and only at the very deepest part of a very deep breath should our upper ribs and neck be involved at all. In most deep, full breaths the neck and shoulders can stay completely relaxed.

 Take every exhale as an opportunity to relax.

 Breathing is a profound manifestation of our relationship with the world. It is literally how we take in and how we let go. The better we learn to do that with ease and relaxation the more fluidly we can move through life.