For now, how about a quick look at the THREE simple rules of optimal breathing?
Here they are:
1. Breathe through your nose
2. Into your belly
3. And exhale slightly longer than you inhaled
1 + 2 + 3 = Magic.
How about a quick inventory then a closer look?
First, the quick inventory:
1. You breathing through your nose? (Most people don’t. Go look around and/or in the mirror. Do you see a mouth gaping open?)
2. Do you breathe deeply (yet calmly) into your belly? (Most people don’t—especially if you breathe through your mouth!)
3. And, is your exhale slightly longer than your inhale? (This is the fastest way to relax!)
Now, for the closer look:
Rule #1. Breathe Through Your Nose (EXCLUSIVELY!)
When? All day. Every day. (Including while sleeping and training.)
– First: Your nose filters, humidifies and conditions air in ways your mouth simply can’t.
– Second: Know that we NEVER used to breathe through our mouths except for the most extreme instances of physical exertion. (Think: Lion chasing you.)
– Third: When you breathe through your mouth, you tend to “overbreathe” via short, shallow, fast breaths that disrupt the oxygen to carbon dioxide levels in your body. Although it might sound weird, it’s the CARBON DIOXIDE that actually gets the oxygen out of your red blood cells and into your tissues and organs and you need to slow down your breathing (via your nose!) to get the CO2 right and, as a result, the O2 where you want it.
Rule #2. Breathe into Your Belly
Fill up the lower part of your lungs. Flex your most underappreciated and underutilized muscle in your body. Get your diaphragm rocking!!
Note: Don’t take “big” breaths via your mouth into your chest. Take nice, mellow, quiet, DEEP breaths into your belly. Repeat. All day. Every day.
Rule #3. Exhale Slightly Longer than You Inhale.
This is the fastest way to flip the vagal switch and turn on your parasympathetic nervous system and R E L A X.
Whenever you think about it: Exhale longer than you inhale. (Finish strong as we like to say at the Johnson house! 🙂)
Squeeze your diaphragm. Get all that air out. Why? Well, did you know that breathing is responsible for 70% (!!!) of your body’s detoxification? Elimination and sweat only take care of 30%. (Kinda surprising, eh?)
But, guess what? If you’re not breathing right, you’re not detoxifying fully. And, of course, you’re not fueling your cells properly.
Enter: Compromised vitality and increased potential of getting all the things you don’t want.
Therefore: Nose. Belly. Exhale.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
How about a nice, deep, calm breath. In through your nose… Down into your belly… Out through your nose with a nice, long exhale.
Here’s to your Optimal Breathing!