its something we do everyday… all the time.. Yet most of us do it all wrong or not enough. Being a fast paced american I probably tend to breathe like most of you shallow (just into my chest and light). Since getting more into yoga in the last few years I have tried to become more aware of my breath and when I think of it to take a nice, long slow breath.. right down to my stomach. Try it right now. How good does that feel? When we are living in stress mode we activate our fight or flight mode.. which keeps us in the shallow breathing.
Relaxation is the key to deeper breath. To get myself in a routine I try to do it at specific times of the day.. say every time I am at a red light. I practice breathing. In line at the grocery store, breathe. My girls start squabbling.. BREATHE DEEPLY!
Certain cultures believe we are born with a certain amount of breaths. That right there should make you want to slooooow it down!
here is a practice to try. Sit upright comfortably or lay down. Inhale slowly to the count of 4. Hold breath in for the count of 4. exhale slowly count of 4 and hold breath out for the count of 4. Just do this a couple of times, or make a practice of it.. say 5 or 10 minutes.
Also while doing this place a hand on your abdomen so you can become aware of trying to get the breath to reach down into your core and not just the upper part of your lungs!
Let me know if any of you try this and notice a difference!