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The Nose is for .....

Breathing! This week I have been nagging you about using the nose for breathing (where possible) rather than the mouth. We’ve all had a chuckle at Mr Iyengar’s ‘the mouth is for eating and the nose is for breathing’ quote but he makes a valid point.

Mouth breathing used to only come into play during ‘fight or flight’ situations but now, due to our hectic lifestyles, it is an everyday occurrence. We are more likely to take, quick, shallow breaths through our mouths which our body perceives as being ‘emergency’ breaths. This triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response in our body and all the associated neurological reactions.

Nose breathing does the opposite. It encourages deeper breathing and uses the diaphragm to draw air deeper into the lungs rather than just the upper area. It circulates more oxygen throughout our body and has a calming influence on us.

I didn't think of myself as a 'mouth breather' until recently. I noticed whenever I started to exert myself (even just walking uphill) that I stopped nose breathing and switched to my mouth. So if you see me out and about now I will have my mouth firmly shut with a pained expression on my face as I try to adjust to walking and breathing differently at the same time! It's way more challenging than I thought but it's getting easier with practice and, according to the experts, 'nasal breathing is seen as the key to health and longevity, versus mouth breathing which can be the gateway to suboptimal performance and even disease'. Good enough reasons for me to try it!

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