At first glance you probably thought this would be about profanity… one of my favorite topics… because I love all words equally. Nope. It’s literally about your mouth. And Pranayama – breathing (and energy) practice.
Are you a mouth breather? How do you know? Do you know? Really? I would have said absolutely, 100%, hands down, NO Way, am I a mouth breather. But you know what happened? I started paying more attention. Because I read that book last year by James Nestor. (You know the one I couldn’t stop talking about – Breath) And now that I’m paying attention… I catch myself ALL THE TIME… with my mouth just hanging ajar. Just a little bit, but still! I KNOW better!
And then I started paying even more attention when I’m walking, hiking or running. (just kidding, I never run). But even on an uphill trek, I’m trying to keep my mouth closed and just rely on nasal breathing. It’s takes some effort! And the second I stop paying attention, there it goes. It does this in part because of something called air hunger. Weird, huh?
I know I know, you’re thinking, ‘big deal, so what’. It can’t have THAT big of an impact. Well, I’m here to tell you IT DOES TOO! (read that again emphatically in the tone of an 8 year–old telling on a sibling).
Here’s why it matters. It changes your CO2 levels and your tolerance to it, which lowers the nitric oxide that triggers your oxygen uptake, which affects your nervous system and your heart. PLUS, it changes the shape of your jaw and your smile and your nasal passageways over time. Ever struggle with breathing? Know someone who snores? Asthma? Deviated septum? Allergies?
Now I’m not stating professionally that closing your mouth will fix all that overnight. Definitely Not over ONE night. But there is significant evidence that many breathing obstacles can magically be adjusted.
And by magically, I mean the magic of biology, physiology and all the other medical ologies. Your body is magic, I mean seriously, can you really deny that after seeing the miracles of birth and hair growth? C’mon where does all that hair come from – when you spend years shaving and cutting it month after month after month for decades! (not my brother, hasn’t had to cut his hair since he was 28, LOL).
Breathing challenge this month: Try two things:
- Breathe through your nose as much as possible and see what happens?
- Try inhaling for 5.5 seconds and exhaling for 5.5 seconds for a little bit every day.
Eventually see if you can breathe that way for one full minute which would = 5.5 breaths.
Cool math, right?
I felt compelled to reiterate this fascinating information on breathing. I want everyone to breathe a little easier this year for all our sakes. This is a good start. Thank you for trying it.
And now that I’ve got you breathing easy and feeling calmer… I also feel compelled to remind you that we are doing everything possible to stay open until we can re-open. It’s not feasible to open for 5 people but we are ready and willing as soon as we get a greener light. In the meantime, we also know that even when we open, not everyone is coming back. So we’d like to ask if at all possible, please spread the word about our online classes, library and workshops. Every little bit helps. Thank you.
Until next time… breathe easy.
p.s. Check out my next message about the best Root Canal Ever and the more practical applications of nasal breathing!