Last week I met a wellness crusader who frequents the retreat often for rejuvenation and reset. She has a team of people helping her churn out beautiful publications on self-help and quitting sugar. We talked about acid-alkaline diets, sleep quality and strategies for both.
Nowadays the in-thing to know something about is acid-alkaline dieting so I brought up the lesser known fact that breathing is our body’s system for continual blood PH regulation.
The in-thing to know something about is acid-alkaline dieting
A healthy breathing rate is 8-10 breaths per minute. This is when your rib cage is freely expanding and your diaphragm comfortably floating up and down as a result of there being no postural impediments. Think about this, 8 x 60(minutes) x 24 hours = 11520 breaths a day, before exercise or duress. Eleven and a half thousand PH rebalances a day!
Forget trying to “belly breathe” as this only lasts as long as you’re driving the process consciously. After you’ve moved onto the next email or phone call, breathing simply reverts back to whatever the default physiological conditions will permit.
In other words, if your neck, shoulders, upper back or lower back are tight or stressed, then breathing cannot expand freely into the lower depths of your lungs.
Forget trying to “belly breathe”
You might have taped over your mouth at night to stop mouth breathing, but what you’re doing with your “posture” right now as you read this is either allowing natural abdominal breathing or simply getting in the way.
A scary fact is that the average adult in Australia breathes around 20 times per minute (which incidentally is unhealthy). The reason this is happening is because of a lack of lung expansion and retention of Co2 inside the body. In reality, the air isn’t being held inside long enough for the chemical exchange to take place (absorption of oxygen, production of carbon dioxide) and therefore the brain says “not enough oxygen, breath in again”.
An open mouth lets the air out too quickly
An open mouth lets the air out too quickly…compared to those two much smaller holes known as your nostrils. As a result, you’re panting rather than breathing.
A slower breathing rate activates the parasympathetic nervous system. That’s technical jargon for the auto-pilot part of our body that nourishes, heals and regenerates us. Meditation, relaxation, mindfulness etc are tapping into this built in healing program. (and it feels good)
So, my new friend the sugar expert writes about this on her blog, no need for me to improve on a professional writer, couldn’t if I tried.
The best part of all this is that while you’re diligently balancing your food and drink so as to reduce internal acidity you can support this with quality breathing.
How do you create quality breathing?
1. Meditate on your breath and learn to lengthen the out-breath…not hold your breath.
2. Use your sitting bones when seated so that your back, shoulders and ribcage are completely relaxed.
3. Don’t allow yourself to slump into a C curve with your spine. (you must be able to create ease in upright, I have given tips on this here)
Embed natural breathing into your day
Otherwise, lie down on the floor with your knees bent and see what happens to your breathing when you’re not creating upright tension. This is why I developed the Relaxaback program, so that you can experience natural breathing and embed it into your life.
Image Credit http://www.zygotebody.com/#nav=11.49,128.18,66.18