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My mother lived for several years with lung disease.  So breathing correctly is very important to me. Yoga poses that help expand through the rib cage, back and shoulders actually help with the ability to increase lung capacity.  Creating more flexibility through the rib cage makes it easier to expand the area to get a full, deep breath.  If we are tight through our side bodies, backs, and shoulders, we tend to round our backs and hunch the shoulders forward which keeps us from being able to take a deep breath.

Try this simple breathing technique which will not only help stretch the shoulder and rib cage area, but it will also help you become more aware of your breathing.

Start by lying flat on your back.  If you have lower back issues, try putting a bolster under your knees.  Or, if you do not have a bolster, bend your knees and have your feet flat on the floor.  Have your hands on the floor, palms down, by your sides.  On an inhale, and completely filling your lungs, raise your arms up and over your head until they are resting on the floor over your head.   Now on an exhalation, and completely emptying your lungs, raise your arms up and over your head and bring them back to the floor, palms down, by your sides.  Try repeating this 3 to 5 times.

This should be very soothing as you are going with your own breath pattern.  Rest a moment after completing this and become aware of the sensations in your body before moving on.

Here’s to better breathing and until next time …… Namaste

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