I love to study the body in movement and in moments of stillness. It still blows me away how much you can learn from moment to moment. The body never lies.

The body is always telling a story. The human form will hold onto so much of its history in the way that it moves and in the way that it is simply still.

It is common to think that breathing is something that comes naturally. And it does! But us so-called ‘smart’ humans have spent a lot of time training ourselves out of our natural breathing pattern.

Breathing affects every function of the body. There is no other system that singularly has as wide an affect on our organs as a breath.

So why aren’t we breathing optimally?

There are many reasons but here is a short list of the top 5 things I have seen commonly in practice:

  • Stress
  • Folks breathe through their mouth and not their nose
  • Folks have an inverted breathing pattern
  • Issues in releasing emotions
  • Stigma attached to not wanting to have a full looking belly

As a female from a young age I had the thought process that I didn’t want to look as though I had a full or round belly. I didn’t want to look what I considered ‘fat’. That means that I spent much of my time, particularly as a teenager, trying to suck my tummy in. It’s not physically possible to complete the full action of inhalation if you are simultaneously holding your belly in!

I coach people in the method of diaphragmatic breathing. It is commonly known as belly breathing. Here is a short video of how that is done:

When taking a full diaphragmatic breath there is often an emotional release that accompanies it. Sometimes it is the first time in a very long time that someone has actually taken a full breath.

Our lungs are associated with the heart chakra which relates to emotions of sadness, grief, loss and sorrow. Opening up that chakra with a full breath can enable the energy to be released and with that energy, pent up emotions.

Is your normal breathing actually suboptimal?

Take the time to learn how to breathe. It will improve your life in places you never expected it to.


Tanya Carroll

Livestrong Primal Fitness



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