Are you breathing?
I ask my students this several times during our workouts
together. It is amazing to me how many people forget to breathe while
training.
My point of course it to get them to release built up
tension and help them to get through the class safely and effectively.  What I do notice is that many people struggle to take in a deep breath.
Often their in-breath is very shallow. I watch as they have
to scrunch up their shoulders in order to fill their lungs even just a bit. 
Try this: 
Sit tall on the edge of your chair and breathe in deeply
through your nose.  First your nose may be blocked so you need to try to clear that in order to breathe properly.
Try to breathe in for a count of 4 and then exhale through your mouth for the
same count but this time pretend you are breathing out through a straw and
control the flow of the breath.
When we practice this, we can actually improve our ability
to take in more oxygen and as a result we will have more energy and feel
calmer.
In class, I ask students to check in with their breath as it is an indication of how we are
doing physically.  If our breath is short and choppy, we may be pushing ourselves too hard. This applies to regular life as well. We may be rushing
around so much trying to get so many things done, that only someone else can
see that we are out of breath.
Do you want to feel calmer?
Do you want to have more energy?
Then begin each day by focusing on your breath. Do the following exercise before you get out of bed, before the mind starts to take over and you begin to
worry about the day ahead.
I want you to place one hand on your heart and one hand on
your abdomen. Slowly inhale, feeling your belly rise, ribs rise and
chest rise and then reverse this by exhaling until there is no more air left in
your lungs. I want you to do this while counting up for 4 with the in breath
and down from 4 with the out breath. 
Just focus on the quality of your breath.
Eventually you will be able to increase the length of your in breath. I know this
to be true because when I first started doing this exercise 4 years ago, my
breath was very shallow. It felt like my chest was going to burst if I tried to
take in any more air. 
Clients have reported to me that simply doing this every day has helped them to lower their blood pressure and improve their quality of life.
Isn’t that what we all want?
Check in with your breath several times today. You will be happy you did.
Enjoy the sun everyone!
Beth