How to tell if you’re over-breathing...
⭐ Do you sometimes breathe through your mouth during daily activities?
⭐ Do you breathe through your mouth during sleep? (If you are unsure, do you wake with a dry mouth in the morning?)
⭐ Do you snore or hold your breath during sleep?
⭐ Can you visibly notice your breathing at rest? The more movement you see, the heavier the breath.
⭐ When you observe your breathing, do you see more movements from the chest than the abdomen?
⭐ Do you regularly yawn or sigh throughout the day?
⭐ Do you sometimes hear your breathing at rest?
⭐ Do you experience symptoms of over-breathing such as nasal congestion, tightening of the airways, fatigue, dizziness, or light-headedness, neck and shoulder pain?
These are all signs of over-breathing (hyperventilation). It is a myth that breathing more increases oxygen in the body. When we increase our breathing rate and volume, carbon dioxide within the body begins to drop. When this happens it reduces the bodies ability to transfer oxygen into the cells. Even if you take bigger and deeper breaths, the end result is the same. The body becomes deprived of oxygen.
The goal is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide lost with breathing, which then increases oxygen availability to the cells. On some level ancient yogis knew this. This is why slooooow, quiet, rhythmic, nasal and diaphragmatic breathing is recommended.
As mentioned in our previous post, 'take a deep breath' is often misinterpreted to mean BIG breathing. Deep breathing is not the same as BIG breathing.
BIG breathing is taking in bigger than necessary breaths. Controlled and deliberate deep breathing is different.
Here's why we want to avoid BIG breathing...
Big breathing leads to over-breathing, which can mess with the delicate balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange taking place inside every cell of your body.
Over breathing can cause you to release too much carbon dioxide which impairs blood flow to the brain.
This image shows what happens to your brain after just 1-2 minutes of over breathing. Notice the substantial drop in oxygen.
Breathing exercises that focus on SLOW, quiet, rhythmic, nasal and diaphragmatic breathing are key to restoring calm.
Follow our page to learn more as we post about optimal breathing - in bite sized chunks.
'What's the first thing you hear when someone is trying to help you to relax? 'Take a deep breath'... Right? And that probably made you think 'big breath'. That's not what the vedic (ancient yogic) texts talk about, and it's not consistent with what we know about physiology now.
Ancient yoga teachings counsel us to make the breath subtle and still, in order to restore pranic balance.
Deep breathing is not the same as big breathing. Something seems to have been lost in translation when people think of them as the same.
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“I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need.
I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you.
Let us work together for unity and love.” - Mahatma Gandhi