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  • Writer's pictureTanvi Desai

Are you breathing incorrectly?

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

My Instagram polls showed that 50 -65% of people are breathing incorrectly.

In my 20's I learnt how to breathe correctly, and it was as if I had never taken a breath before. It was a workout for my internal body. Then I started to ask: If breathing is an autonomic process that does not require active participation, then why are we not breathing correctly?

Correct breathing technique: When you take a breath through your nose, your stomach should push outwards. The diaphragm drops, allowing more air into the lungs, thus the rib cage opens out, opening our chest.

Incorrect breathing technique: When you take a breath through your nose, your stomach goes inward not allowing your diaphragm to drop, the lungs can't expand to allow maximum lung capacity and so a shallow breath is taken. The chest doesn't expand but instead your shoulder raise towards your ears thus using accessory muscles not required during breathing. The rib cage lifts upwards instead of opening outwards.

The incorrect breathing technique is not incorrect when you are being attacked by a lion. Shallow and quick breathing is necessary when you want the oxygen to be pumped quickly to your blood, so you can run faster.

In the modern world we are constantly under stress aka fight or flight mode, hence we only take shallow breaths. This answers my question of how we learnt how to breathe incorrectly in non-stressful situations.

So train yourself to breathe correctly. When you take a deep breath in, don't move your shoulders and breathe into your diaphragm, for your stomach and chest to naturally open up. Then exhale through your nose and your stomach will sink in.

I have had to train many of my patients to breathe correctly, especially my female patients, as they hold all their stress in their shoulders. Their major complaints are typically upper back and shoulder pain. This population has highly tensed musculature in their shoulders and upper thoracic area. The biggest misalignment from incorrect breathing is the T1 rib.

The T1 rib can be very tender, and be the cause for shoulder, upper back and neck pain when misaligned. It can also contribute to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or impingement of the cervical bundle in the lower neck and shoulder region.

SO if you haven't already start INHALING with proper body mechanics - then you should, as the benefits are profound.

Benefits of breathing correctly:

1) It helps you RELAX, reducing cortisol levels.

2) Lowers heart rate and blood pressure.

3) It naturally helps IMPROVE POSTURE.

4) Increases lung capacity, thus increasing oxygen capacity to blood to carry out important functions.

5) Improves SLEEP quality!

When I learnt how to breathe correctly - "I was working out my breath". I felt amazing each morning, I had a blood rush, I felt good/ happy, I was centered and after a few months I lost weight! I was always exercising, but could never lose weight, adding breath work allowed me to shed a few pounds. So start breathing correctly.....

Stay tuned for exercises and techniques to improve your INHALATION and EXHALATION!

Follow me on Instagram to get the exercises: @lotuschiro

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