How Do You Know your breathing is free of tension?

The topic of breathing is near and dear to my heart.

In the past I have taught workshops on the subject such as “Breathing With Ease” and “Calm Body, Calm Mind – Getting a Handle on Anxiety”.  I love the topic because it is a function that can strongly influence our vitality. It is unconscious, yet there are a multitude of ways we can affect our overall well-being positively or negatively.

There are so many ways to breath, depending on what you are doing. The diaphragm is the main mover of breath. However, influences from the ribcage, back muscles, abdominals, mouth, and neck can change how you breathe. I will be writing on the topic for the months to come, covering related issues such as, anxiety, asthma, and COPD.

It is something we take for granted, and at times we get comfortable with a way of breathing that is not optimal. Through close attention function can be made easy again.
Some of the clues that breathing is not optimal:
1. brain fog setting in quickly when seating and working
2. head aches from concentrating on new tasks
3. sighing a lot
4. noisy breathing while at rest, inhaling and/or exhaling
5. chronic neck tension
6. Rib tension or stitches/cramps
7. Feeling like you can not get a big enough inhale/ struggling for breath

Learning what your habits are in breathing is the best way to begin your path to improving it. Why?

Because if you don’t know what you are doing then you don’t know what needs to change. Are you breathing shallow? Or is it that you feel more movement in your chest rather then your belly?
A nice way to hit the reset button is to do a nifty little Feldenkrais® Lesson called  4 Phase Breathing.

Then you can sense more about HOW you breathe and shift it to an easier pattern. Give it a try and tell me what you notice!