Sleep and breathing; two functions that are absolutely necessary to sustain life, yet so many people neglect to make sure they are doing either one properly. Sure, everyone does both because there is no choice in the matter. However, quality and quantity are issues for both. Take a deep breath. Did your shoulders rise? If they did then you could improve the way you breathe. The key to breathing is using your diaphragm, and to do that you have to breath by “filling your belly” with air. This time, take a deep breath and concentrate on forcing the air lower, into your belly. Feel the difference? Here are two drills that you can practice to make sure that you are breathing correctly.
1) Lay face down on the floor and take deep breaths, concentrating on forcing the air into your stomach and pressing your stomach into the floor. This will allow you to feel the air moving into your body the way it should, and also give you some direct feedback as to whether you are breathing properly or not. Start by trying the drill for 5 deep breaths and work up to a minute.
2) For this drill, lay on your back and bend your knees so that your heels are close to your butt. Place one hand on your belly and take deep breaths, concentrating on making your hand rise with each breath. I got this drill from Nate Green’s The Hero Handbook. I have tried it with myself and my clients and it works very well. Again start by taking 5 deep breaths and work up to doing the drill for a minute.
Tomorrow we’ll work on our sleep habits!
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