Destress with Deep Belly Breath

Are you a shallow breather? Shallow breathing is when the lungs are not completely filled when you inhale.  Think breathing into the top of the chest only.  Most people do not fully inhale when breathing so shallow breathing is extremely common.

As a yoga teacher, birth doula + wellness practitioner Deep Breathing + connecting to Breath comes naturally to me now, but 10 years ago not so much. Like many of you, I was out here living and surviving in my shallow breath with no issues at all. But here is the thing. We don’t know what we don’t know. I had no idea how much of a disservice I was doing to myself in my shallow breaths.

There is an EXTENSIVE list of all the great benefits of Deep Breathing but these are the ones that resonate the most with me:

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A Few Benefits:

  • Regulates Nervous System
  • Increases Calm
  • Decreases Stress
  • Increases energy
  • Stimulates the lymphatic System
  • Improves immunity

How to Start?

Practice Belly Breathing 

Honestly you don’t need much to practice belly breathing!  The beauty of belly breathing is it can be done anywhere + at any time!  The more comfortable you become with your practice, you will begin to see more spaces and opportunities throughout your day to utilize the technique.

Belly breathing is an amazing tool to tap into when you start to feel moments of anxiety or feelings of overwhelm begin to build.

  1. As you inhale, visually imagine your breath coming in through the nose, filling up the lungs + expanding the belly with air (use your mind’s eye to imagine).
  2. As you are visualizing, physically your belly should begin to rise and expand the same as in your mind’s eye.
  3. Exhale, allowing the body to relax,  lowering the shoulders + releasing your belly, emptying the lungs.
  4. Repeat 2-4 more rounds of this deep belly breathing
  5. Optional : Extend the arms and legs for a full body stretch
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Reflection: Take notice of how you feel within your body.  Do you feel energized ? Relaxed or calm?  

Deep Belly breathing along with a full body stretch is my go to when feeling stressed, this simple intentional breath and movement does the trick every single time.  

Do your future self a favor, raise energy levels + come back to your body with Deep Belly Breaths!

What are some of your go to De-stress activities?

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