As a yoga and life coach I know all about the importance of breath. Something seemingly so simple and effortless, we do it without thinking, but how often do we truly breathe?
I’ve been reading a wonderful book called ‘The New Science of a Lost Art’ by James Nestor. Have you heard of it? Maybe you’ve even read it.
It’s been a real eye-opener to the research behind mouth breathing versus nasal breathing. As a life-long yogi breathing through my nose (in through the nose and out through the mouth) is second-nature.
The body’s natural filter
The reasons behind it include that it filters the air and pollutants that we take in through the tiny hairs in our nostrils called cilla. These tiny hair have their own pulse – can you believe it?! Even if forced against gravity they would still operate the same. As they wave with this pulse it continues to move air-filtering using mucus to take it down into the stomach to get turned into waste – the human body is amazing!
With this in mind, if you were in-hailing through your mouth, bacteria can enter directly into your mouth and throat and in-turn your lungs – evidence in James’ book shows that it can lead to a variety of health issues.
When we breath using only our nose, it opens up our airways and sinuses, encouraging both nostrils to work equally.
Yoga follows a pattern that is intrinsically linked to breath. The practice of yoga encourages a heat to be created within the body, we call this Agni (your internal digestive fire to ignite) making flow of movements, holding poses and finding the stillness within accessible.
After a practice of asana (poses) and vinyasa (sequences with breath) where the breath can slow down can create stillness for the mind to then become still for a meditation practice or a savasana (corpse pose) at the end of a session.
As ingrained as nasal breathing is to me, as a yogi, i’s not to say that I don’t encourage out-breaths from the mouth in my sessions as this can be a vital source of letting go. These cathartic out-breaths also help in releasing the jaw and tension in the body. How good does it feel to let out a big sigh sometimes?!
This form of mouth breathing is particularly useful. It is used when birthing and when I assist my pregnant clients or teach them pregnancy yoga this is encouraged as the jaw is also linked to the pelvis which you need to let go off in order to birth comfortably.
Now back to the book! So James Nestor’s science and research is an astonishing discovery that mouth breathing, over the years, has caused narrowing of the insides of the mouth, jaw and sinuses over our history resulting in Sleep Apnea and anxiety to name just a few issues.
Have you ever thought about your breathing?
So take a moment, think about this… How do you breath?? Do you even know how you breath most of the time?
Do you have sleep apnea or asthma or have you always suffered with Anxiety?
Could changing the way you breath really be the first vital steps to making changes towards living well and more healthily.
It could be as simple as your breath being your brick wall of how you can’t move easily into your next step of living. Ever considered this ludicrous thought?
I often take coaching clients back to basics with breath and body awareness by introducing them to the foundations of yoga. From this place of awareness major life changes are found to be more accessible as there is more connection to yourself. You’re able to access more self belief and self confidence re-emerges, enabling the goals we co-create together to become even more doable and achievable.
How does that sound? All from the simple foundation of breathing? Let me know if you are interested in how coaching and yoga can work for you in living in alignment again.
Whether you’re ready to access your self-awareness and begin coaching or you’re looking for a good, self-development read. I’d definitely recommend getting yourself a copy of this eye opening book.