Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
This week has been by and large about learning to breathe through whatever stress you may be experiencing. Three of my clients asked me, "how do I breathe?" So, I wanted to share with you a couple of things I told them to try.
First, you should find a comfortable place to sit. It can be on the floor or in a chair, or you can lie down on your back on the floor. What I like to do if I'm going to focus on my breathing is to set an intention. I write this down so that I can focus on that intention as I breathe. It helps to center the mind and body as one. You can write ANYTHING you desire. It can be, "I want to do 8 more reps of bicep curls today" or "I want to relax in traffic today." Whatever it is, try to make it something positive. Get comfortable and make sure your weight is evenly distributed through both hips. Close your eyes and think of elongating your spine. Wrap your hands around your ribcage and as you inhale through your nose, allow the fingers to separate apart. As you exhale through your mouth, feel your fingertips draw towards each other. Now try this in a five-count breath pattern: Inhale for 5 counts through your nose and exhale for 5 counts through your mouth. Breathing in this way allows your jaw to relax a bit. I have illustrated what I'm talking about in the video below...
This whole thing, breathing is excellent for strengthening your lung capacity as well as aiding the oxygen flow to your brain so that your thoughts can become clearer. Breathing and centering our bodies with our minds and souls helps us to connect to living within ourselves so that we can become more productive and whole beings.
Why did I teach you to breathe laterally into your ribs, you might ask? Well, this is an old Pilates breathing method and I believe it works. Breathing this way allows you to also keep your core engaged because you have moved your breath up a bit instead of allowing your belly to relax and breathe frontally into your diaphragm. This is just for starters, though! I actually love to eventually teach people how to breathe frontally, as well as into other areas of the body. Isolating where you breathe is a great technique to get you another step closer to becoming in touch with your body.
NUTRITION TIP OF THE WEEK: RELAXING FOODS:
I'm typically promoting a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, so try a potassium rich food like winter squash with black beans that are high in magnesium which can help relax your muscles. This combo is great for reducing stress and increasing relaxation! You can top it off with some camomile tea with a teaspoon of honey to deepen your tranquil state.
Move well, Eat well, Be well,
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