Breath: your best friend
We take over 20,000 automatic breaths a day. We can go without food for up to 40 days, without water for 3 days yet without breath for just a few minutes. Breathing is something we all know how to do but the majority of adults, teenagers (and increasingly children) let go of their natural ability to breathe fully. Babies are the best breathers because they haven’t learnt any bad habits yet. They breathe as nature intended: from their bellies and through their noses (the little hairs clean the air). They breathe out longer to calm down. We are conditioned from an early age to control our feelings and emotions, as a result our muscles tighten and our breathing becomes restricted.
Breath is one of our greatest powers to transform how we are feeling; it can calm or energise. When we consciously connect to our breath we become more aware of its effect on our emotional state. Yoga is emotionally balancing: through diaphragmatic breathing young people learn how to tap into their parasympathetic nervous system; teaching them ways of how they can make themselves feel calm and relaxed, which also puts them in an optimal state for learning.
Try a few deep, slow belly breaths to start your day; sending a little love note to yourself with each breath. Your breath is your best friend.