“Walking and breathing are the base elements of human biochemistry, physiology, and biomechanics” - Dr. Jordan Shallow, aka, “”The Muscle Doc”
We’ve all been told at some point or another, to breathe deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. If you imagine yourself halfway through a HIIT cardio session or 10 reps into a leg press set, are you breathing through your nose or your mouth?
Nasal breathing has several advantages to mouth breathing, the most notable being it’s increased capacity to allow for more oxygen to reach tissues.
Breathing in and out through the nose leads to deeper breathing, which in turn causes much more expansion and contraction through the diaphragm and ribcage musculature, which is where many individuals hold their stress. Nasal breathing has also been shown to increase parasympathetic activity, which is the body's “rest and digest” state of being.
When focusing on breathing, the goal should be expanding the belly and rib cage as deeply as possible through the nose, pausing in that expansion, then exhaling all air possible, flattening and tightening the mid-section musculature at the end of the pattern. I prefer inhalation through the nasal cavity and exhalation through the mouth. I’ve personally found extra benefits and development to this breathing practice while maintaining different yoga positions, such as downward dog, cat pose, and child’s pose.
Many of you have seen a weird bandage on my nose recently on my Instagram stories, it’s a nasal strip. This strip releases tension off of sinuses which dramatically increases capacity to nasally breathe. If you’re someone who struggles with allergies, I would highly recommend. You can get them on Amazon for something like 10 or 15 bucks. Well worth it.