If you’re not breathing, you’re dead! Learn how to breathe better and easier with a few simple tips

It’s pretty obvious, right?

If you’re not breathing…you’re dead! Yet…we’re kinda walking around half dead or half alive every single day.

Art by Chalermphol Harnchakkham

So many of us suck in our stomachs, pretending to have washboard abs. We’re afraid to make any noises while we breathe because it’s not socially “normal” and essentially, whether due to stress and anxiety or gut issues and not speaking your truth in the world, we’re “holding our breath” as much as we can without actually dying. But I guarantee if you’re not breathing well, you’re not living as well as you could and how you breathe is a great indicator of how alive you probably feel on a daily basis.

Stefan truly surprised me with this question! I’m so glad he did. I used to hold my breath 24/7. Thankfully, I gained a lot of self-acceptance, self-confidence and stopped caring what most people think about me on a daily basis. I let myself make noises and I invite the people in my life to make them with me! Which actually makes for some really weird, fun, bizarre moments together…and we laugh a TON. That alone could be part of the healing right?! Laughter truly is medicine, as corny as the saying is.

This is a huge, massive, life-saving topic that I wish our culture and this industry (the health and fitness industry) talked about more often. Watch the latest episode of Mobility Mastery Monday POP Q&A below, then please add your comments on this blog, YouTube channel and Facebook.

I’d LOVE to hear from you on this!

Do you struggle with breathing well on a daily basis?

What was your biggest takeaway?

Are you going to try any of the suggestions in this video, and if so – which ones fit home for you and inspired you to take action?

How to breathe easier:

  1. Let go of self-consciousness and HAVE FUN WITH BREATHING! Make noises on your exhales, even the relaxed ones. Make airplane noises! Yell, groan, jump up and down or shake your whole body out. And PLEASE – laugh! This is honestly the best thing I personally know of (that few people talk about online). There are PLENTY of “how to breathe” articles all over the internet. I haven’t yet read one that encourages you to make noises, laugh at yourself and shake your whole body. While the breathing itself is important…I believe it’s even more important to break the nervous system pattern with laughter, and add an element of play and fun into something that’s otherwise so serious.
  2. If you’re anxious or stressed, definitely try exaggerating the emotion you feel and get it OUT on the exhales with LOTS of noise, and honestly – the louder the better! You’ll laugh even harder at yourself. Awesome! This will break the pattern and create more ease, more relaxation and less tension. Obviously, it’s probably best to do this one at home, in your car or when you’re alone (unless you’re with someone who knows what you’re doing and why…and then, by all means turn it into a party haha).
  3. MOVE! Move your body and you move your lungs.
  4. Spend time in nature. Science has proven that we breathe easier in forests.
  5. You could certainly try the Wim Hof Method (click < to go to his site and please know we have no affiliation, we just a lot of affection and respect for him and what he’s doing).
  6. Yoga has been proven effective at helping people breathe better.
  7. As much as possible throughout the day, breathe DEEPLY, exhale fully, inhale fully and eventually this will become second nature and you won’t have to “try.”
  8. To assist in all of the above, or if you suspect you have fascial restrictions keeping you from breathing well…try any or all of the below techniques that we talked about in the video.

Try one or more of these fascial release techniques to help you breathe better:

  1. My top pick is releasing the abdominal fascia. You can find that by clicking here.
  2. Next I would try your neck fascia, which will help your lungs and neck expand with your inhales and push the exhales all the way out with effortless ease. That post and video how-to can be found by clicking here.
  3. Great additions to the above would be the lat release, which can help with the rib issue I talked about in the video. Click here for that. The rhomboid release is ALSO found in this blog post, and doing both of these will help with rib mobility and allow the diaphragm and lungs to expand naturally via the side and posterior ribs being more flexible.
  4. The chest release would also be a fantastic addition. Get that here.
  5. And finally, I would recommend the scalene/neck release for just about everyone on this planet, whether or not you have breathing issues. So I’m throwing that in the mix for you, click here and have fun!

Improve Your Posture to Relieve or Prevent Text Neck, Shoulder and Mid Back Pain

Our posture pretty much sucks these days.

This isn’t about propriety or your grandma yelling “stop slouching!”

This is about your quality of life, because in our modern era poor posture doesn’t just mean a bit of shoulder tension or slightly forward rotated shoulders – it means PAIN, and lots of it.

While smart phones were a genius invention, our insatiable appetite for constant engagement means we’re hunched over our phones all day every day. (I mean, I even see people crossing the street or riding their bike while cranking their heads down to stare at their phones!)

All this hunching over and bending our necks puts the equivalent of a 60 POUND WEIGHT on our cervical spine!

Over time this creates a nightmarish domino effect of pain, because an unhealthy cervical spine can lead to serious neck pain, shoulder issues; mid back pain; low back pain, elbow tendonitis or wrist issues, not to mention grip issues from lack of nerve ennervation to the hands due to fascial blocks created in the scalene area of our neck.

The THREE “R’s” of better posture:

  1. Release the overworked, over-tight areas.
  2. Restore muscle memory and neural pathways of good posture.
  3. Reinforce the muscle memory and neural pathway of good posture by strengthening the weak/overstretched muscles in your mid/upper back.

RELEASE:

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How to Relieve Pain Between the Shoulder Blades – Lat and Rhomboid Release

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Most people I know experience this at least once in their life (if not repeatedly): pain between the shoulder blades. It can feel like a ball is stuck there, or it can feel like a sharp knife, or maybe it only hurts through certain ranges of motion or when you’re sleeping. Whatever the case may be, it’s NO FUN right? But it IS reversible!

Keep in mind, what I’m about to give you isn’t a full solution, but it should still provide some good relief (and some of you may get full relief).

Quick question: How’s your posture?!

Are your shoulders forward rotated? Are you hunched over at a desk all day or are you constantly bent over looking at your phone? Tsk tsk! (Hey I’m guilty of the phone thing too, but do my best to avoid it because it wreaks HAVOC on the cervical spine!)

The good news is, all of these things are avoidable through posture correction, by moving your computer to eye level (or better yet get a standing desk!) and holding your phone at eye level (hey, you might look like an old lady/man but you’ll avoid putting a 60 POUND pressure on your cervical spine!)

The more you can do to AVOID these bad posture habits, the better off you’ll be long-term.

Ok, moving on to what you can do right now to get some relief.

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