Every Breath You Take

If you’ve taken even one class with me, no doubt you have heard my suggestion to “breathe through your nose, lips together, teeth apart, tongue resting on the roof of  your mouth.” For some, I know it’s been challenging as they may have learned to forcefully breathe through their mouths. On more than one occasion, I have been approached by a student confused by my suggestion as they have been taught to breathe in a manner which is rather noisy. My response is to defer to the science and, most importantly, to experiment on yourself! Notice how you feel when you breathe through your nose vs breathing through your mouth.

Just recently, as we were en route to a special Sunday breakfast, we happened upon an interview Piya Chattopadhyay had with James Nestor on CBC radio’s The Sunday Magazine. James is the author of Breath, which is an in-depth exploration into the how and why of effective breathing. You can hear the discussion here, which occurs at about 26 minutes.

How we breathe can have a dramatic effect on how we think, how our body reacts, longevity, posture, our energy levels, and even our athletic performance (oh, and let’s not forget snoring!). Nasal breathing provides the perfect venue to help filter, warm and moisturize each breath for optimal oxygen delivery.

In addition to the impressive work of James Nestor, you may also find Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage to be helpful. There’s a growing body of evidence to support the importance of mindful breathing, and the impact it can have on our overall health. Something I find helpful is to periodically take a moment to observe how I’m breathing (even if I’m out for a trail run) and make every attempt to breathe through my nose. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely beneficial!

I hope you find these resources helpful to support your wellness journey.

May your actions, thoughts and deeds uplift others.

Warmest regards,