How deeply were you breathing in the last 10 minutes? Did you just take a deep breath after reading that? Good! Repeat!
I’ve been working in New York City a good portion of my life, no doubt, there is a high level of energy in this town – it might be invigorating – but eventually debilitating to our health. What’s easily affected is the depth of our breath, the subsequent tension that accumulates on our shoulders, neck and back, results in dysfunctional posture that perpetuates shallow chest breathing. It can be a vicious cycle.
Try this exercise to paint a clear picture; Mold yourself into a rounded shoulder, slouchy posture, hold your cell phone down in front of you – Now, try taking a deep, rib expanding breath – how did that go? My guess is that your breath was restricted.
Shallow breathing can lead to dominance of the muscles that assist with inhalation – many located on the neck and upper back – exacerbating their tension. When we practice diaphragmatic breathing, we guide the rib cage into full expansion and facilitate the work of the primary inhalation muscles.
The depth of our breath has the power to aid our musculoskeletal system or wreak havoc on it. Practice diaphragmatic breathing daily. A great exercise to help guide you into deep breath is the Cat/Cow pose. I’ve included a link below that will guide you through the proper steps, discusses precautions and modifications.
Here’s an article on dysfunctional breathing and it’s affects on the kinetic chain.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.
Best in health!