These days have us all breathing shallowly. As if we are holding our breath, waiting for something else to happen. So much like the fight or flight syndrome. We are preparing for battle but which one? A lot is coming at us, we find it hard to breathe fully and deeply. However, inhaling deeply and exhaling fully might just bring about a calmness that your body craves. If you really think about it, our breath is the connection between mind and body. Kind of like a bridge. The most effective way to relax is to do awareness or conscious breathing. Breathing fully has been shown to help lower blood pressure, calm a racing heart,and help your digestive system. Our breath has direct connections to our emotional state and moods. If you are angry or fearful the breath is shallow, or quick and irregular. It’s hard to be upset when breath is slow, deep and regular. These days it’s hard to bring center to our minds and bodies when things seem out of control. However, using your breathing consciously by slow full deep breaths will allow your body to enter a calm and restful state. A breathing exercise to try is: Exhale completely through your mouth like a big sigh. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose as you count to 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Exhale completely through your mouth, a large sigh. Do 4 sets of the above and calmness will set in. We are all experiencing and navigating uncertain times. Just breathing completely can help us mentally and physically handle the stressors before us. For more information about health and fitness, please contact, Kay Colgan at Middleburg pilates, 14 S Madison Street, Middleburg, Virginia or call 540-687-6995.