Be the Balloon

Are You a Paradoxical Breather?

Most of us don’t breathe right. That sounds incredible, since breathing is automatic. But ask any yoga teacher—heck, ask any yoga student—and they’ll tell you about their experiences re-learning how to breathe. The main mistake is what is termed “paradoxical breathing.”

Somewhere between birth and adulthood, you learn that when you inhale you suck in your gut and stick out your chest. Puffing out the chest might work for a short moment – when the drill instructor or beauty pageant judge is inspecting. But it makes no sense for life in the long run. Instead, imagine the lungs and belly as a single balloon. Inhaling means filling up, not emptying out!

It’s a very simple fix. Keep that balloon in mind and inhale deeply, pressing the navel out and letting your lungs expand sideways. Exhale and contract in the opposite order. Try this for a few minutes when something stresses you out at work. Enjoy the results! Instead of a paradox, it’s a no-brainer!

Recommended: The Power of Prana: Breathe Your Way to Health and Vitality


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