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Home > The Vapour Blog > Spring Cleaning From the Inside Out Part One: Breathing Well

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Spring Cleaning From the Inside Out Part One: Breathing Well
By Ashleigh Beyer, Vapour BlogGirl

"Breathing eliminates 70% of the wastes from the body; it’s one of the body’s best ways to clean itself."

For the first half of all the yoga classes I teach, I call out every inhalation and exhalation. In my mind, thinking “inhale,” when I’m inhaling and “exhale,” when I’m exhaling is a superb way to practice presence and also to be in gratitude of life itself.

I believe we feel good after yoga class for many reasons. In most classes, the spine gets a chance to move in all of its directions and therefore it feels elongated and supple. In yoga, we ask the mind to take a break from being in charge, which helps us to feel more relaxed and open. And perhaps the most important reason we feel good after yoga is from breathing in and out deeply, consistently and rhythmically for an extended period of time.

Breathing is an incredible system, synonymous with our survival and one of the body’s best ways to clean itself.  According to the AHHA, “A full 70% of the elimination of wastes from the body is through breathing.”

Put simply by Dr. Craig Freudenrich, “[The lungs] take a gas that your body needs to get rid of (carbon-dioxide) and exchange it for a gas that your body can use (oxygen).”

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just breathing, in order for these cleaning processes to be in place, we must breath well. The AHHA’s Joel McPherson says that, “Breathing correctly is critical to maintaining the level of oxygen for energy, keeping the correct pH levels in the body, and good enough carbon dioxide for bodily functions.

Shallow shoulder breathing won’t make the cut, this kind of breathing will “[invite] problems by delivering less air per breath into the lungs. Less air per breath leads to a higher number of breaths, putting in motion a series of physiological changes that constrict blood vessels. Less oxygen reaches the brain, the heart and the rest of the body as a result. Less productive exhale causes an imbalance between the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the lungs and a buildup of toxins that should have been eliminated through breathing.”

 “Don’t hold your belly in!” McPherson adds, “As we grow older, we are taught to "suck in that gut" and "puff out that chest" as we try to achieve as slim a waist as possible. Such resistance to the natural breathing posture restricts oxygen intake, which can lead to numerous physical as well as emotional problems.

How To Breath Well:
1) Make yourself comfortable, laying on the floor or sitting in a chair with your legs uncrossed and both soles of your feet firmly planted on the floor.

2) Place your hands on the outside rim of your rib cage, soften eyes or close your eyes.

3) Inhale and feel your ribcage expanding wide out to the sides; try not to let your shoulders lift up towards your ears at all during breathing. Repeat several times.

4) Place both hands, one on top of the other on your belly. As you inhale feel your belly expand forward and even widen out to the right and left and as you exhale feel your belly condense back in towards your back. Breathe like that for a few rounds—slow deep quiet inhales and exhales, keeping your shoulders out of the equation.

In addition to these profound physical implications, breathing well can effect our emotions positively. The Detox Diva articulates, “Your breath will respond and does adjust according to what you are thinking, feeling, observing, hearing, tasting, touching, sensing or experiencing at any given time. It is intimately connected to your physical, emotional and spiritual state.”

Take the opportunity that each breath gives you. Each breath is a new beginning. Allow yourself to feel present and connected in the moment. BE in the space your exhalation allows, let go of the old, the past, let go of fear, anything that no longer serves you.

Whatever we put or attention on grows. Put your attention on your breath, doing so will increase its cleansing capacities and keep you grounded in the present moment. Breathing deeply is a free, you can do it anywhere and it's actually a relaxing way to Spring clean--happy cleaning friends!

Breathing Well Extra Credit:
Dr. Andrew Weil says that if he could only give one tip for better health it would be to breathe properly. His favorite breathing technique is a 4-7-8 exercise.

Remember, when you’re doing this exercise, you’re breathing all the way down into your ribs and belly:
1) Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth and exhale completely through your mouth so that you make a whoosh sound
2) Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose for a count of 4
3) Hold your breath for 7 counts
4) Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8
5) Repeat three times

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On 1/6/2015 Forklift Training Melbourne wrote:

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On 4/21/2014 Alissa Anderson wrote:

Great Article! A lot of neat information, thanks!

On 4/20/2014 Rita Spratlen wrote:

Thanks for the wonderful article. I will have to practice this.

Rita Spratlen

On 4/20/2014 Kasey Michelle wrote:

What a helpful post! Sometimes, I need to remind myself to step back, and just breathe and these are great tips! I love yoga for the ways that help you focus on breathing and meditating.

Kasey Michelle

On 4/20/2014 Aditi Giasotta wrote:

I totally agree with this! Loved reading and learning all the new tips! I am going to use this in my meditation practice :)

Aditi Giasotta

On 4/19/2014 Jen Politsch wrote:

This article seems so true. The few times I've done Bikram yoga the entry breathing poses always seemed so cleansing.

On 4/19/2014 Kassie wrote:

This post is so helpful and enlightening. Thank you so much for sharing such awesome tips! I know I'm guilty of not breathing properly!

On 4/19/2014 Sarah Combs wrote:

its funny how we often forget the simplest of things such as proper breathing

On 4/18/2014 Kate Hawthorne wrote:

A huge help to me when dealing with fear of flying and other extreme emotions. Thanks for the good reminder!

On 4/18/2014 1955nurse wrote:

Amazing, how something we do naturally can have so many benefits! great article, BTW... Thx!

On 4/18/2014 Leah wrote:

These are good fundamental tips for healthy breathing!

On 4/18/2014 Robin wrote:

Deep breathing is something I know I don't do enough and this was a great reminder to practice this daily.


On 4/18/2014 Dacia wrote:

Interesting article much needed advice for this time of year

On 4/18/2014 Erin wrote:

Great reminder! It is funny how you forget to breathe properly. Great post!

On 4/18/2014 Kellie O wrote:

I need to give this a try! Thanks for the info.

On 4/18/2014 Michelle C wrote:

Everyone should try to relax, breathe, and de-stress!

On 4/18/2014 Vonda F wrote:

Love yoga - always feel better afterwards. Great reminder

On 4/18/2014 Heather wrote:

I always have to remind myself to take cleansing breaths, especially at work. Thanks for the reminder!


On 4/17/2014 Erica K wrote:

I've been telling people the importance of breathing correctly forever!

On 4/17/2014 Kellye wrote:

Great article!

On 4/17/2014 Diana D. wrote:

I've actually gotten better at this; being more mindful of my breathing. If I catch myself getting stressed and breathing shallow, I stop what I'm doing and I stretch out my arms and take a deep, long breath a couple of times.

On 4/17/2014 Dawn wrote:

Love the article on breathing! Sometimes you just forget to BREATHE. Take time for yourself and relax. Great information and tips that I will use. Thank you!

On 4/17/2014 Lorraine F wrote:

I really appreciated this article. I sometimes "forget" to breathe properly, and I certainly need to learn to breathe more deeply.

On 4/17/2014 ELENA wrote:

Love Vapour

On 4/17/2014 Karin wrote:

Just breathe!

On 4/17/2014 Rachael wrote:

Great article. Deep breathing is a great way to relieve stress and regroup. It helps clears your head and slow you heart rate.

On 4/17/2014 Melissa McCrohan wrote:

Good article. Love that you quoted Detox Diva. She rocks!

On 4/17/2014 Carmela Capano wrote:

Enjoyed the article! Great advice and quite helpful. Will share. Thank you!!

On 4/17/2014 violet revo wrote:

I so needed this today

On 4/17/2014 Christy Peeples DuBois wrote:

The 4 7 8 refers to the breathing exercise to do in order to breathe properly. Inhale for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 7 and exhale for a count of 8. Repeat three times.

On 4/17/2014 Louise Ocegueda wrote:

I love Vapour!!!

On 4/17/2014 Pia wrote:

Love Vapour products!


On 4/17/2014 Marilyn wrote:

:) great info

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On 4/17/2014 Maisie wrote:

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On 4/17/2014 Natayle wrote:

Wonderful information!


On 4/17/2014 Penni wrote:

Love Dr. Weil's breathing technique and practice it every day!

On 4/17/2014 aslihan wrote:

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On 4/17/2014 Michelle Gerrard-Marriott wrote:

Deep breathing is my life everyday! I was diagnosed with anxiety and used yoga, deep breathing, and herbs to heal myself! Thank you for this great article! xo

Michelle Gerrard-Marriott

On 4/17/2014 Mandy Coyle wrote:

Great information!

Mandy Coyle

On 4/17/2014 Sue Pompetti wrote:

I have utilized deep breathing for years. Truly brings down anxiety.

On 4/17/2014 Melissa N wrote:

Thank you for sharing and making amazing makeup!!!

On 4/17/2014 Jacqui wrote:

Deep breathing helps me deal with life's stresses!

On 4/17/2014 Lori Fisher wrote:

LOVE my Vapour products!!!

On 4/17/2014 Laurie wrote:

Great reminder. So hard to do correctly. It takes a lot of practice.

On 4/17/2014 katherine wrote:

Wish it was easier to get Vapour in Canada!

On 4/17/2014 Nicole wrote:

thats why I love yoga!

On 4/17/2014 Sara A wrote:

This is interesting, I never thought about breathing right and what benefits it has on the body. I'll have to try this out! :)

On 4/17/2014 Jencey Keeton wrote:

I used this at the dentist today. Thank you!

On 4/17/2014 Caroline wrote:

Important to remember!

On 4/17/2014 Natalia wrote:

Great article! Especially since I am into yoga and meditation =)

On 4/17/2014 Elizabeth Geiger wrote:

Great post!

Elizabeth Geiger
http://75 Strout Street

On 4/17/2014 Kelly wrote:

Such an easy thing to do, and I usually forget to do it! Thanks for the great reminder!

On 4/17/2014 Judy Geiger wrote:

Great tips!

On 4/17/2014 Marge Clark wrote:

Good article, sharing.

Marge Clark

On 4/17/2014 Anna wrote:

Great post, I will share it!

On 4/17/2014 Karin wrote:

Great post!

On 4/17/2014 Belinda wrote:

Thanks for posting - great advice!

On 4/17/2014 Nancy wrote:

I've been practicing deep breathing when I get stressed. It's amazing how quickly I can calm myself with just a few long inhales and exhales. I learned how to do this at a yoga class in Hawaii. I just picture a beautiful Hawaiian beach while I'm breathing and the stress melts away!

On 4/17/2014 Tiffany Lindsay wrote:

Awesome post! I feel more relaxed already.

On 4/17/2014 Viola Christina wrote:

Thank you so much for sharing this blog post!Very informative! I love all the tips and great advices! I will pass it to friends and family.

On 4/17/2014 Crystal Carpenter wrote:

Love this! I have 5 month old twins, so there are many times during the day that I need to stop and do some "spring cleaning."

On 4/17/2014 SKJ wrote:

Great article - thank you for sharing! I am going to try this at the beginning of my meditations, and throughout the day. Also great if I'm feeling stressed and want to reconnect with my breath!

On 4/17/2014 Cipriana Sanchez wrote:

I really enjoyed that.

On 4/17/2014 Tiffany wrote:

Printed and put by my mirror! Xo


On 4/17/2014 Katie C wrote:

This is such a good reminder--and motivates me to make it to yoga regularly, too. Thanks!

On 4/17/2014 Terressa Zook wrote:

Very informative article. I remind myself several times a day to breathe deeply.

On 4/17/2014 Minna K wrote:

Love this!

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On 4/17/2014 Carrin wrote:

Love all of your products!


On 4/17/2014 loyri halliburton wrote:

Good info. Thanks!

On 4/17/2014 Rebecca JH wrote:

Very good info that everyone can use. Everyone needs to take a few deep breaths to relieve stress- I know that I do!

On 4/17/2014 Ru wrote:

One of the reasons why I enjoy yoga!

On 4/17/2014 Jim Y wrote:

Just taking the time to do these breathing exercise is great advice.

On 4/17/2014 Paula Weglarz wrote:

I love Vapour Beauty because it does not irritate my skin.

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On 4/17/2014 Missy Hoppe wrote:

Love this article. Sometimes I have to really focus on my breathing.

On 4/17/2014 Joti wrote:

love this tips.

On 4/17/2014 Rebecca JH wrote:

Very good info that everyone can use. Everyone needs to take a few deep breaths to relieve stress- I know that I do!

On 4/17/2014 evonne brooks wrote:

love all the hints and tips.Great advice for us all of any age

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