What is the one thing you can’t live without? Food, is generally 3 weeks, water is 3 days, and air is just 3 minutes! Sure you are breathing right now, but what I want to ask yourself, is am I breathing the right way? The truth is, many of us don’t breathe the way we are designed to, which is using our diaphragm. Maybe if you are a singer or yogi, you are, but most of us are walking around lacking optimal oxygenation because we are actually using our chest to breathe. However, you should be primarily using your diaphragm, and not your chest.  

Not sure if you are a chest or diaphragm breather? Let’s do a quick exercise to find out. Take one hand and place it on your chest and the other on your low belly. Now, take a big deep breath in. Do it again, this time, while observing which hand is moving 1st-your top or bottom? Ideally, we want our bottom one to be moving first, because your diaphragm is being used and pushing down as you inhale, which then forces the belly out. The diaphragm is a muscle, which has one and only one job, to help us breathe and inflate our lungs with as much oxygen as possible. Locationally, the diaphragm is between the thoracic (chest) and abdominal cavity. 

Deep breathing with the diaphragm has several benefits, one, it’s the only “workout” for the diaphragm, but it also actually helps massage the organs in the abdomen. And we all, including our organs, can benefit from a massage. 

Recently, I learned about something called Transformational Breathing {INSERT TRADEMARK SIGN}, which is facilitated by a person who has a certain amount of training in this method. Recently I attended a session with Mary O’Dwyer locally in Temecula, CA. We laid down on yoga mats with pillow and she walked us through taking the deep breath in and out through our mouth, without pausing as we normally do. This breathwork is designed to be continuous with the inhale and exhale. This can create shifts in the body and emotions, in which you may feel physical sensations like tingling, or even move you to tears. I did feel various sensations, overall had a good experience, and look forward to another session to experience more of the benefits.

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