Birmingham Breathes is currently on lock down due to the Covid -19 virus and all our workshop, seminar and 1:1 programmes are currently on hold; do contact us if you would like support, advice about Transformational Breath(®, or to register an interest in future events. If you are new to Transformational Breath®, check out the Q and A below about the importance of breathing and try out our 5-minute breathing routine once or twice a day. If you have attended 1:1 or group sessions of Transformational Breath® we recommend you do a daily Transformational Breath practice once or twice daily of up to 15 minutes; if you have had at least three sessions with a facilitator or in a group you may consider doing a full Transformational Breath® session once or twice a week.
Q and A – CHECK OUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF BREATHING
1 When we breathe do we use 100%, 80% , 60% or 20% of our full breathing capacity? A. Some people use as little as 20% of their respiratory capacity. Only a very few people use as much as 80% of their respiratory capacity, even athletes. Many people don’t use the lower part of their lungs at all
2 Is it true that by learning to breathe diaphragmatically we improve our health? A. Yes, research studies have shown that the cleansing function of the blood is fifteen times more effective in people who breathe deeply using their diaphragmatic muscle.
Q.3 Is it true that a number of illnesses have been found to correlate with poor breathing. A. Yes, these include some cancers, heart disease, Alzheimers disease, hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.
Q.4 Is it true that when we are upset we hold our breath? A. Yes, when we are upset we often hold our breath to stop ourselves feeling our feelings or expressing our emotion. This can then become become a habit.
Q 5 Is it true that breathing fully can help us if we contract Covid-19? A. We don’t know for sure, but the latest and best advice we have from a G.P. who is also a Transformational Breath® Trainer is that learning diaphragmatic breathing is of vital importance to strengthen our respiratory system to counter the effects of Covid-19. We certainly know we are being advised that if we contract Covid-19 it is important to keep our lungs moving and airways open while ill.
5-MINUTE BREATH ROUTINE
Lie down somewhere quiet for a few minutes, relax and begin to breathe normally. As you breathe, feel your belly, then your ribs, then your upper chest area. Can you feel them rise and fall as you breathe in and out? Where can you feel your breath? Is it stronger in one area than another? Are there areas where you can’t feel it?
An ideal breath is a breath rather like a wave, beginning in the belly, moving through the midriff and rising to the chest. This is how healthy animals and young babies breathe. Very few people breathe like this for our breathing tends to become blocked in different ways, due to how our bodies attempt to manage stress. By relearning how to breathe more effectively you will find you have more energy and vitality and your stress levels reduce. And if you fall ill you will already be able to breathe more consciously and effectively.
Check if you can feel your breath in your belly. If not, push your hands into your belly and imagine you are breathing into them. If you can’t feel any breath in your belly, press a bit harder into your belly or try lying on your front.
If it’s still difficult to locate a belly breath you could try taking a breath in then breathing out through pursed lips (like a silent whistle) to a count of six. Then repeat this time breathing out to a count of eight. –Repeat again breathing out to a count of ten. You can repeat this extending the length of your out breath for as long as you can. This makes more demand on your lungs incrementally and you will want to take a bigger breath in each time. Breathing in through a relaxed mouth while doing this helps to relax your pelvic floor and accesses the diaphragm.
Now try this short Transformational Breath exercise for up to 5 minutes at a time and your breath pattern will gradually deepen:
Take a breath in and then gently breathe out, letting go on the outbreath and without any effort. Breathe in to a count of two or three and then just relax your outbreath. Repeat this, so that it feels that the breath is easily flowing in and out without a big pause between the in and out breath. It doesn’t have to be hard work, your body will gradually relearn a new natural pattern.
All of this will strengthen your diaphragmatic muscle and will gradually become a natural way for you to breathe. While you are learning this you may wish to sit or lie somewhere quiet, where you can relax. Once you’ve got the hang of it you can use it at particular times of stress to stay calm. You can also practise it whenever you want to. This could even be when you are in bed, doing household tasks, or walking in nature. For a particularly effective breathing workout, breathe both in and out with an open-mouthed breath. At other times, breathing in and out through your nose works best for this exercise.
During this current Covid-19 pandemic, we recommend you breathe like this for 5 minutes at a time, twice daily. If you become ill, even thirty seconds or a minute of this breathing throughout the day whenever you feel able will help you.
However this is not a cure for Covid-19 and if you feel your breathing is dangerously impaired contact 111 and/or emergency services.
Sending much love and positive energy to everyone.
Keep breathing and please do get in touch if you need further advice!
Andria Falk and Val Jenner,