Wednesday, March 28, 2018

3 Great Ways To Improve Your Posture And Breathing

While most modern humans consider breathing and posture as an afterthought, it's also true that many people today suffer from pain and anxiety that can be traced to poor posture and breathing. People spend thousands of dollars on therapy, yoga classes and alternative treatments when the answer is often much simpler than that: stand up straight and breathe from your diaphragm.

While this idea hasn't fully caught on in the mainstream medical community, there is an immense amount of research coming out showing that by improving your breath and your posture, you can lead a much more comfortable, happier life. Indeed, working on these areas could solve complicated problems that you assumed were worlds apart from your physical habits.

"Great," you say, "I would love to improve my posture and breathing, but how?" While training yourself to stand up straight and breathe from the bottom up can be challenging, there are certain activities that promote these unconscious skills. In this post, we'll suggest three activities that promote deep breathing and good posture – otherwise, we recommend reading up online and creating your own practices.

1. Singing/ Playing Music

In the respective arts of singing and public speaking, it is of the utmost importance to breathe from the diaphragm and keep the oxygen flowing while you are doing your thing. While most of us don't have ample opportunities to practice oration, singing is a completely different matter. Getting together with musical friends to sing a bunch of your favorite songs is a great way to stimulate deep breathing; if you feel left out because you can't play an instrument, enroll in music lessons today and join in the fun! Otherwise, consider joining an adult choir – adult choirs are very hip these days, and not necessarily affiliated with any specific religion. If you are religious, however, join the choir at your church – whatever you need to do to dust off those pipes and move away from shallow breathing!

2. Walking

It may sound way too simple, but after twenty minutes of walking, your body will automatically switch to deep breathing to get all of the oxygen it needs. Some people doing in depth workout regimens will think that these elaborate exercises are relieving their stress, when really they could achieve the same results by taking a long walk – we are so accustomed to the stress that goes along with shallow breathing that we are amazed when it dissipates. So rather than driving or taking transit, put on a podcast and take the heel-toe express to your next destination, you'll feel great when you get there.

3. Tai Chi

That funny karate dancing that you see people doing in the park sometimes? The people you make fun of? They're doing Tai Chi, and Tai Chi is actually awesome. While there are certain applications of Tai Chi in the martial arts world, many alternative health practitioners in the west promote it as movement meditation, which can be especially helpful for people who are too restless for sitting meditation. The combination of breath and movement and the soft focus of attention is meant to align your breath with your body and lull you into a state of harmony. Often there are free classes offered in parks all over the city, you've got nothing to lose (except for your stress!). 

This is a guest blog entry.

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