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Challenge: Start Today: Healthy Habits

The Power of Breath

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Breathing is arguably the most important thing that we do as humans. It’s what oxygenates our blood cells. Those cells in turn fuel our tissues, muscles and organs. Breath is, in essence, the stuff of life. Why is it then, that so many of us tend to throw breath on autopilot for most of our lives?

Conscious breathing plays a huge role in our physical, mental and spiritual well being. Surely you’ve heard phrases like, “waiting on bated breath,” which calls to mind the action that we take when we’re anxious or scared. If you think about it, this makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. We would want to make sure to be quiet if the sabertooth tiger is just around the corner.

But there’s something to be said about our evolution, and I happen to believe that breath is going to be a big part in moving forward. Exercise is fantastic for your brain mostly because your respiration goes into overdrive when you’re doing cardio activities. You have to remember that cardio isn’t just good for your heart. All of that extra breath you’re forced to take in is great for all of your cellular tissue. But when we’re not being forced into deep breathing by exercise, it’s still extremely beneficial to focus on getting more oxygen into the body, specifically to the brain.

Benefits of Breath

According to a study conducted at Hampton University in Virginia, deep breathing can even help you lose weight. They found that the deep breathing techniques practiced by yogis changes metabolic activity in the brain and decreases body mass index in overweight and obese teens.

Breathing also helps you focus. The more you can concentrate on breathing consciously, the better you will get on concentrating on other tasks, like applying for jobs or filling out paperwork for scholarships for graduate school. This takes some time, but if you spend just a few minutes a day focusing on your breath, you’ll notice a marked change in no time.

The Best Seated Breath

So, what are you waiting for? Sit up straight. Lift your chest, pull your shoulders down your back, and take a deep inhale. When you think you’re full, take in a tiny bit more air. Reach through the crown of your head. Now exhale, and stay tall. Compress your abdomen. Pull your low belly in and tuck your tailbone. Repeat!

How do you remind yourself to breathe?

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