We release 70% of our toxins through breathing alone! If we consider that 80% of us only use 30% of our breathing capacity that means you are probably not getting rid of all the toxins you should be.
When we breathe, our belly should move forward. Most of us though, will feel our shoulders lift instead, which means we are breathing into our upper chest only. We should breathe down deep into the lowest part of the lungs, which pushes the diaphragm down and therefore pushes our bellies out. The diaphragm is a muscle wall that goes across our body to separate the digestive system from our respiratory system (i.e. our lungs and heart from our intestines, stomach, liver etc.)
When we breathe properly, we are able to deal with stress in a much more effective manner as we are more grounded and our brain is receiving the proper amount of oxygen. When we are stressed, we instantly cut off our breathing. We also do this when angry or upset. When we do this, it exacerbates the emotions and we can spiral out of control and react in ways we normally wouldn't. The good news is that once we are aware this happens, we can remind ourselves and control our breathing, which will then pull us out of the stressed or emotional state and restore us to being grounded and centred.
If we are stressed, we release a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol is present in our bodies it is impossible to lose weight! To add to this, cortisol makes the fat cells on your belly expand and you will notice weight gain around the mid-section. This is why yoga and correct breathing are so good for weight loss. Breathing alone will restore your body to a calm state if you take some time (2 minutes, 5 minutes or even more if you can manage) to concentrate on the breath.
Incorrect breathing can actually affect your metabolism. Food needs to combust with oxygen in order to properly metabolise. If you are only breathing at 30% of your capacity, this won't be happening. If you walk around holding your belly in tight to look slimmer (which inhibits your breathing ability), you are actually having a negative effect on your metabolism AND therefore your weight loss efforts!!
We should always breathe in AND out through our nose. This ensures we have the correct balance of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the body. When they are out of balance the body automatically goes into that 'fight/flight' mode -- which is stress for your body and mind.
If you experience constant neck and shoulder tension, this too could be because of incorrect breathing. This is because shallow breathing uses the secon