The Gift of Breath

Just breathe. 
I’ve uttered those words so many times this past year. When Covid-19 caused the world to shut down. When I went into labour. When I began to think about exercising again, post-delivery. When I held my crying baby at 3am. On the eve of the US election!...  

The benefits of intentional breathing are incredible. It calms the nervous system, helps to focus your attention, improves circulation, promotes mobility in the spine and rib cage and activation of the deep core stabilizing system. Can you think of any other simple task that has such widespread benefit for the mind and body?

This is why breathing is emphasized as such an important feature in yoga, pilates, and so many other movement practices. And why nerding out on breath mechanics is one of my favourite things to do! Let me share with you my favourite breathing technique – try it with me:

Take a long, easy breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
As you inhale, direct the air into the bottom of your rib cage, inflating the sides and especially the back
Imagine your rib cage as a balloon, and as it inflates three-dimensionally, it rises up out of your pelvis.
As you exhale, gently draw your belly button toward your spine to help you to maintain this new space between the pelvis and ribs.
Do you feel taller? Energized?

For all you new Mamas, this is a fantastic place to start post-partum rehab. It’s safe, easy to do, and a great way to start to engage your core and bring awareness to your posture, especially while holding your baby!

Even if you are not a new Mom; if you are feeling sluggish pre-workout, compressed by your makeshift home office, stressed by the Holidays or by the state of the world in general… Give yourself the gift of a few intentional breaths. You will thank  yourself.