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Five Myths About Breathing

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Try this out, ask someone to take a deep breath. Notice what they do.

Did they breath in quickly, puffing up their chest? Maybe their shoulders lifted noticeably and perhaps they quickly exhaled through their mouth?

Maybe that person you are noticing is you.

We've come to believe a few things about breathing that are just not true. Here's my five faves:

Myth #1

More is Better

As with most good things in life, quality rates higher than quantity. When it comes to breathing, less is actually more.

Slow breathing removes toxic byproducts, increases circulation and supports blood pressure and heart beat synchronicity. It improves oxygenation of the blood and increases vagal tone, shifting our nervous system to the 'rest and digest response.

Myth #2

Carbon Dioxide is Toxic

CO2 regulates the release of oxygen into our tissues. Low CO2 means low levels of oxygen absorption into the body. Among other benefits, this useful gas controls our PH balance, buffers free radicals, lowers inflammation, dilates smooth muscles such as arteries, reproductive organs, intestines.

Myth #3

For health, there are more important things I can do than learn to breathe well.

Breathing well is one of the best ways you can improve your emotional and physical health, decrease stress and minimize the affects of aging. Purposeful, effective breathing practices will affect how you breath through the rest of the day and night. Learning to breathe will is an important self-care skill.

Myth #4

I would know if my breathing was a problem.

By the time most people realize their breathing is compromised, they've already had a 70% decrease of the factional capacity of their lungs. When you get to know your own breathing rates through breathing exercises and counting, you will be more in touch with your health for proactive care.

Myth #5

I have athsma, or another condition that has affected my breathing. I can't do much about my breath.

Gentle, skillful and purposeful breathing practices can change the way we breathe and enhance our life, no matter the conditions we find ourselves in.

Seek medical advice when in doubt and don't give up. I've not given up on you!

If you found this helpful and would like to learn more, please comment, I've got more myths to bust!

Are you ready to breathe better? Join my free course.

Julie Seibt is an I.A.Y.T Certified Yoga Therapist, specializing in movement for reducing pain, breath and meditation. Julie resides in Canmore, Alberta, Canada - a lovely cycle or ski away from Banff National Park.

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As I read this it reminded me to notice my breathing. I like these gentle reminders. I am noticing off and on each day. Val

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