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Annaliese is away living the extraordinary life, so I'll be your weekly dose for the next two weeks. My name is Alex, and I have a lot of the feels a lot of the time. With that being said, as creatures of habit, sometimes we find ourselves dwelling a bit too much in the things that are momentary surges of happiness; like food, alcohol, cigarettes, shopping, sugar, etc. And while these substances, some in moderation, (some just hard to kick), are yummy at times, they often act as crutches for what we are REALLY craving- our breath. Our prana, translating to life. We crave life. Close to 80% of the Western population breathes incorrectly with a lot of heavy, noticeably breathing.
I totally get this! Some days, am I the only one that walks around feeling like their breath is a distant friend that lives for a moment in their throat and then POOF, not a clue where it disappears to? This is extremely common, as most people are breathing solely in their upper chest cavity and in sigh like breaths releasing everything out through the mouth and pulling everything in that same way, the mouth. Turns out, there is a much more efficient and just all around healthier way of breathing. Since our lungs are our primary source of energy, gathering a healthy amount of oxygen helps with blood circulation, balanced blood PH, enhanced brain activity, and the list goes on. Two big anatomical reasons- our nostril channels are much smaller than our mouth, allowing our lungs to retain more oxygen as it takes longer for the air to escape the body through the two much smaller passageways. And secondly, we have these bomb stimuli in the nose that act as personal strainers for the air we take in, flushing out a lot of the bacteria in the air so you get the best of the best. Quality O.
So, HOW can we breathe better? By creating NEW habits, and that begins with alternate nostril breathing. It's just like it sounds, alternating between nostrils to not only begin this new happy habit of breathing solely through your nose, but another poppin' perk to this practice is the balancing of the two hemispheres of your brain! Yes friends, this allows your lungs more time to absorb oxygen taken in through each nostril, AKA each side of your brain, allowing you to feel just a bit more balanced in body and mind (quite literally).
This exercise is simple- take your right thumb, place it over your right nostril, take your right pinky, and place it over your left nostril. Exhale through way of the mouth, and then begin with an inhale through ONLY the right nostril, seal it up, and then exhale through ONLY your left nostril. Inhale through the left nostril, close that passage off, exhale through the right, and so on and so forth. Do this exercise for 2-5 minutes every morning, night, any time you feel one of those cravings, and notice your mind will go elsewhere AND you're breathing the best way possible for yourself, a double whammy! But sincerely, like your first reaction to things; if you stop for a second, you may have an alternate reaction, a new reaction, a new habit. Happy breathing!