Often I can get so caught up in what I’m doing, moving from one thing to the next, feeling stressed or anxious, that I don’t even relaxing I’m holding my breath or just chest (apical) breathing - double tap if you can relate😬.
Apical breathing is when you breathe mostly into your chest (chest lifts up) and abdomen sucks in on an inhale, BUT on an inhale the majority of the breathe *should* expand your lower ribs + abdominopelvic region. Breathing can have a large impact on our bodies (including our pelvic floor health – more on that soon!).
A quick exercise that you can do anywhere and is beneficial for relaxing the nervous system, decreasing anxiety, and releasing tension: .
-Sit in a comfortable position with back straight and shoulders relaxed. Eyes closed or gently gaze low at a focus point.
-Place one hand on your stomach, the other on your chest.
-Take 3️⃣ breaths here, just noticing your breath.
-Feel your natural breath and movement of your belly connected with it.
-As you inhale, feel the air inflate the belly, then the center of the lungs, feeling your ribcage expand, and finally, your chest, feeling the chest lift slightly.
-Allow a natural pause while your lungs are completely full.
-As you slowly exhale, feel the air leave the chest allowing the chest to lower slightly, the center of the lungs as the ribcage gets slightly smaller, and finally, the belly drawing in toward the spine.
-Allow a natural pause while your lungs are completely empty.
-Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth (this will sound like the yogic breathing).
-Take 5️⃣ breaths here, tuning in to the movements of the inhale and the exhale.
-Adding in a count of breath, exhale completely through your mouth.
-Close your mouth and INHALE through your NOSE to a count of 4️⃣.
-HOLD your breath for a count of 7️⃣.
-EXHALE completely through your MOUTH for a count of 8️⃣.
-This is 1️⃣ breath.
-Now inhale again and repeat the cycle 3️⃣ more times for a total of 4️⃣ breaths.
-When you are done with your four breaths, return to your normal breath. Stay here for as long as you need.