Did you know that oxygen accounts for 2/3rds of the mass of your body? Oxygen is the element that is arguably the most essential to life on earth. We can’t live without it for more than a few minutes! Along with the obvious function of oxygen in our lungs to keep us breathing, it is also involved in the digestion of food and to break down toxins in our bodies. Oxygen deprivation can be associated with numerous chronic diseases.
One contributing factor to reduced levels of oxygen is the environment in major cities, where the oxygen concentrations have been measured as much as 30% below what is considered ideal. Combine that with the shallow breathing that most of us tend to do when stressed, and it results in negative effects on overall health and functioning of our organs. According to some studies, most people only use about 20% of their lung capacity!
Have you ever been taught deep breathing techniques? Try this fast-acting technique:
- Take in one big breath as you normally would and notice what it feels like and what part of your body expands outward. This step is just to begin to be aware of how we normally breathe
- Now, put your hand below your navel, and while you breathe in, imagine your breath traveling down and pushing your hand outward. (Picture Buddha or Santa Claus…this is not a time to worry about sucking it in.)
- When you exhale, your abdomen should snap back toward your spine. Do this for three breaths.
This exercise should leave you feeling a little more energized, maybe even a little lightheaded at first. That is the power of just three breaths! Imagine if we did this type of breathing more frequently. Deeply oxygenating the body with breathing can actually release endorphins that bring on a state of elevated emotions and help to relieve pain!
You cannot just read about breathing and feel the benefits of higher levels of oxygen; you must experience it directly! Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you are the first to hear about our upcoming mind-body classes that will teach you about the best ways to keep your system well-oxygenated!