At Wellity Education, we are committed to empowering a generation of children with tools for well-being. In classrooms throughout the county, educators are equipping students with breathing, movement, and relaxation tools to support their mental health.
This month, we are focusing on the power of breath.
Have you ever stopped to think about your breath? If the answer is no, you are not alone. Humans typically take 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. At Wellity Education, we teach nasal, or abdominal, breathing. Breaths start in the nose, and move to the stomach. As the diaphragm contracts, the belly expands, and lungs fill with air. Exhale through the nose, slowly, with control.
“Nasal breathing has a profound effect on sleep quality, oxygenation, and relaxation.”
– James Nestor
What are the benefits of nasal breathing?
Nasal breathing is superior to mouth breathing for many reasons. The nose, in fact, was made for breathing. The nose filters, heats, and treats raw air. Inhaling through the nose can trigger different hormones to flood into our bodies to help keep us balanced. Abdominal breathing helps lower blood pressure, and reduce heart rate to help us think, feel, and sleep better.
What is your quality of breath?
This month, as you begin to be more mindful of your breath, we encourage you to think about the quality of your breath. Are you taking quick, short breaths or long deep breaths? People with anxieties or other fear-based conditions typically take quick, short breaths. When this happens, they are putting themselves into a state of stress because they are stimulating the sympathetic side of the nervous system. A way to change that is to breathe deeply. By filling up your lungs, and lowering your diaphragm, you allow more air into your lungs. This activates the parasympathetic system, which helps you relax.
Try the breathing practices below to support your overall health this month.
Alternate Nostril Breath
Breathe through one nostril while holding the other shut, then change nostrils and repeat the process. Try the practice:
Partner Belly Breath
Nasal, abdominal breathing with a friend. Try the practice:
Pay close attention to your breath with the support of a visual. We encourage you to slow down your breathing and notice the impact. Try breathing in as the shape expands, and breathing out as the shape contracts. Breathe with the visual: