The Benefits of Better Breathing

....  and How You’ll Survive the Fall of Civilization  

Recently, as I was about to begin teaching a class, I thought I’d get started by telling everyone to get on the floor. But before I could even begin speaking, all of my students moved onto their stomachs to start an exercise we call “croc breathing.” I wanted to start with a tabletop position, but alas, it turns out they knew what was best. And they were right. Here’s the thing, “croc breathing” isn’t the most exciting exercise, but I quickly realized what was happening-- my students had found the value in breathing exercises.  

Now, I want you to discover these benefits as well. That’s why I want to focus on the importance of proper breathing techniques.    

Gain Better Posture
By breathing properly, you ensure proper posture, which allows for bone to balance lightly on bone. This means there are as few muscles as possible involved in supporting and maintaining your balance. When proper posture and respiratory muscles are restricted, the body begins to process less and less oxygen. As a result, you start slumping. And that’s no good.  Not only does this send out an image of poor self-confidence, but it also has a negative impact on your respiratory and musculoskeletal system over time.

Feel More Relaxed  
From a Western perspective, when we unconsciously hold our breath, we “short circuit” our body’s ability to take in the appropriate amount of oxygen to function properly. When you hold your breath, your body interprets this as a sign of distress, which not only engages the fight or flight mode of the sympathetic nervous system, but also triggers a cascade of stress hormones. Eventually, this may lead to digestive issues as well as increase tension in the neck and upper- to mid-back due to poor muscular oxygenation.

Increase Your Awesomeness
If you’re generally stressed, you won’t perform at your best.  Improper breathing leads to a lot of other issues that cause even more stress such as a lack of sleep and consuming extreme levels of caffeine. Quite simply, proper breathing will help you perform better.

Survive a Zombie Apocalypse
As mentioned above, proper breathing is going to help you perform at your best. And you’ll want to be at your best if you want to survive the zombie apocalypse. So, when you actually need to tap into additional resources to kick some zombie butt, you’ll need your fight or flight response to turn your performance up a notch.  

What You Can Do
Now that you know what you can gain from proper breathing, it’s time to get started. Here are some additional techniques that you can try at home: