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Breath: The Key To Longevity and Ease. Learn How to Be More Efficient and Relaxed.

By On June 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

Our lungs really are amazing organs. With a nerve connecting them directly to both our brain and our heart, they serve an integral role in the proper function of the body. Yet, for all their importance, they often get ignored. For instance, did you know that the right lung with 3 lobes is larger than the two-lobed left lung? Did you know that with concentration and effort, you can direct your breath more into one lung than the other as well as into the front or back of your chest cavity?

Yes, our lungs are amazing. And while we notoriously shallow-breathing humans may generally leave our lungs to function on their own without consciousness or purpose, there is a lot to be gaining if we do invest a little effort into improving our breath.

Why Breathe Properly?
Our bodies have two modes: fight or flight (stressed out, high blood pressure, high heart rate) and rest and digest. Our breath plays a main role in dictating which mode we engage. If we regularly breathe in such a way as to engage our rest and digest nervous system, then we are allowing our heart and body to function more efficiently.

The average human completes 12 to 14 breath cycles in a minute. Monks are known to lower this number to 3 to 5 cycles per minute. A stressed-out human will increase their cycles per minute to the low 20’s. Long, slow breaths not only engage the rest-and-digest nervous system, but also increase the pause between the exhale and the inhale. It has been established scientifically that during this pause the body finds its greatest stability.

lungs and breathOur upper lungs cannot absorb oxygen. Therefore, if we are only breathing shallowly, then we are working really hard for very little payoff in terms of oxygen and blood circulation. When we breathe in properly our lower rib cage should expand. When this occurs, our ribs drift upwards. This is handy because our ribs connect to our spine. Thus, when we breathe in deeply, expanding our rib cage and lifting our ribs, we are lengthening our spine.

With a calmer, resting-and-digesting mode of being, a more stable body, better blood oxygen and circulation, and a healthier and longer spine at our fingertips, we should all have more than enough motivation to improve our breathing patterns. Click here for tips on how to do so on your own. Also, increase your mind-body workouts, which all incorporate controlled, deep breathing, by visiting Pilates Studio City!

One Response

  • major organs of June 4, 2016 at 1:11 am · Reply

    You’re invited to St. Paul’s Church Newburyport.

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