“You can change your whole life with your breath”
I couldn’t agree more with the statement above! In yoga, we refer to breath as pranayam. Translated from sanskrit it means “life force”, which makes absolute sense as our breath, in essence, is our life force. Stop breathing and you stop living.
The way I’ve taught my students about the importance of breath in class is that the simple act of changing your breath can alter your entire physiology (body response) which in turn changes the way you feel > your thoughts > beliefs > actions > and ultimately your life because your life is made up of the actions, beliefs and thoughts that you create. Lengthen your breathe to soothe your nervous system, release the tension from your body and make better choices. Fragment your breath and you’ll create more anxiety and stress in your body.
In this episode, we get to talk to Marco Tesi about the epic power of breath and how to use it to reduce stress, anxiety and pain. He approaches the topic from a Sports Science background which is exciting because he rounds out what yogis have known about breath for centuries with the physiology and functionality of it all. It just make so much sense when he explains it! Marco shares so many important nuggets that need to be applied for our lives for better living. For example, it’s all about functionality and balance! Short breaths can save your life or they can give you a panic attack. It all depends on what you’re doing. Our body system isn’t rigid, it’s meant to flow and pivot with whatever situation is currently facing us. Okay, before I spoil it all, plug in those earbuds and listen in!
Marco is the creator of Respiro Breathing technique and has helped over a hundred people overcome chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, anxiety and other challenges through breathing techniques.
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Importance of Breath
Breath is the bridge between your body and your mind. It affects the mechanical body (ex. help with posture, emotional body (activating different areas of your brain) and physiological body (can actually change the chemistry of your blood)
Based on this, breath is the connector of all parts of you
Chemistry of Breathing For Stress & Anxiety
The way you breathe can actually change the chemistry of your blood. Contrary to what you might think, more oxygen doesn’t mean that it’s better. It’s about the balance of oxygen intake and carbon dioxide removal. An imbalance can cause harmful outcomes like acidosis or panic attacks.
In a nutshell: short, fast breathing that feels like you’re never getting enough air is not good for a body and is usually an effect of chronic stress.
It’s all depends on the context. For example, hyperventilation is great for if you’re in a real danger or doing strenuous activity because it helps match your real physical demands to what the body needs (ex. doing sprints on a treadmill = need oxygen).
Hyperventilation is bad for you if it’s a result of chronic stress and you’re hyperventilating even as you try to go to bed.
Our body has been made to oscillate between high to low – just don’t get stuck.
Always let it be functional - practice by placing your hands on ribs and belly to sense what your natural rhythm of breathing is. Changes are made from there and it all depends on what you want to use your breath for. It’s like how you use your voice - raising it if you’re doing something like giving a presentation and lowering if you’re in a library.
Breathe through your nose because your nose hairs filter for you affects the tone of your airways.
Snoring and sleep apnea are results of dysfunctional breathing. Mouth breathing creates loss of tone in airways.
One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:
Learn to inhabit your body again because your body holds the tools for whatever you’re dealing with. It will allow you to modulate and reframe the perceptions you have now.
What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?
Work on yourself first and get experience. It takes courage to try. Find the art in whatever your work is and don’t lean just on methodology. In the end, trust yourself with your skills!
If you have any questions for Melanie or want to learn more, connect with her through:
Facebook: Respiro by Marco Tesi
Instagram: : @respiro.marcotes