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From a CPF Yoga Teacher: On Breathing

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

From one of our CPF yoga teachers:

I will share this excerpt from a great book on breathing that will aid the student when she feels anxious. There is so much healing power in proper breathing. How we breathe matters- it is just as important as the food we eat, and our daily exercise routines. According to James Nestor and a host of scientist and researchers, breathing properly can allow us to live longer and healthier lives.

Today, doctors who study breathing say that most Americans do it inadequately. Starting around age 30, bones in the chest become thinner and collapse inward. We lose about 12% of our lung capacity by the time we hit 50 and then the decline speeds up. We’re forced to breathe faster and harder, making it even more difficult just to catch a breath. But it’s not all bad news.

Unlike problems with other parts of our body, such as the liver or kidneys, we can improve the airways in our too small mouths and reverse the entropy in our lungs at any age. We can do this by breathing properly. A 70-year research study focused on heart disease, gathered two decades of data from 5,200 subjects. The results were astonishing. They discovered the greatest indicator of life span wasn’t genetics, diet, or the amount of daily exercise as many had suspected. It was lung capacity. Larger lungs equaled longer lives. Because big lungs allow us to get more air in with fewer breaths. They save the body from a lot of unnecessary wear and tear.

That’s the first step in healthy breathing: extending breath to make them a little deeper, a little longer. Try it. For the next several minutes, inhale gently through your nose to a count of about 5 and then exhale, again through your nose, at the same rate or a little more slowly if you can. This works out to about six breaths a minute. When we breath like this we can better protect the lungs from irritation and infections while boosting circulation to the brain and body. Stress on the heart relaxes; the respiratory and nervous systems enter a state of coherence where everything functions at peak efficiency. Just a few minutes of inhaling and exhaling at this pace can drop blood pressure by 10, even 15 points.

Scientists have known for decades that inhaling through your mouth saps the body of moisture, irritates the lungs, and loosens the soft tissues at the back of the mouth. Mouth breathing has also been linked with neurological disorders, periodontal disease, and increased risk of respiratory infection.

For CPF Oncology Yoga classes go to the CPF calendar at

The Zoom classes are handled privately by the teacher. She will contact you with all the registration information and her links.

The live classes are organized by state. Free oncology yoga classes are live in Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina.

We also have lovely videos on our YouTube channel

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