Take a deep inhale, then exhale. Where did the air go on your inhale? Try it again. Did your belly or your chest move or both? Which moved more? Did you fully exhale or did you exhale only some of the air you just inhaled?
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Our lungs are like balloons, when we inhale, they fill up and when we exhale, they empty. Ideally we breathe into the lower part of our lungs as this helps us stay relaxed and it requires less work from our muscles. When we breathe into the upper part of our lungs, it activates a more stressful response from the body, more muscles have to work and less air (therefore less oxygen) is getting in to keep our body happy.
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The most relaxed position to practice this is lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Think of a balloon as you inhale, the air should go 360 degrees. You should feel your belly, your sides just below your rib cage and your low back expand. When you exhale you should feel the air leaving those areas. Try breathing only through your nose, or in through your nose and out through your mouth. Play with both options.
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To start, I would suggest trying 10-20 normal breaths right before you go to bed or if you are feeling stressed during the day. Like I said, it helps you relax so especially for those of you who have trouble sleeping, it’s a good way to calm your body a bit before sleep. You can also check in to how you are breathing doing the day, while sitting or standing.


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Megan has been a certified athletic therapist since June 2011 and has worked with numerous sports teams (hockey, CrossFit, rugby, soccer, etc.) at different levels ranging from recreational athletes to professional athletes.  Most importantly, she has a sound understanding of the movements performed in our programs and is our resident expert for all body care questions.

You can connect with Megan 1:1 by email at megan@crossfitwestmount.com or by clicking here

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