Recently I found myself thinking, “Please some breathing room!” Then thinking, “Well, exactly who is going to give me some breathing room?”

It was a day when all my animals needed extra attention due to a physical issue, my gym was busting at the seams, my newsletter and local paper article were due and the painter needed constant dialog about my project. I felt suffocated!

The word “suffocated” felt vaguely familiar, like something from my past that didn’t belong in my life now. It was uncomfortable and I wanted it gone! 

When I was younger, suffocation was a permanent feeling.  Life was filled with uncertainly, each day was stressful and crazy, most of all, and everything felt equally important.  My motto was, “Just put your head down and get through this. I can take a breath later.”

Now that I am riding the first wave of Baby Boomers, I certainly have a different take on breathing room. Life won’t provide it for me. In fact, I am the one that must say stop and breathe now.

Over the years I have tried many different breathing techniques, yet I always return to my favorite, Bellows Breathing. Bellows Breathing means using your rib cage to suck air laterally and deeply into the lungs, followed by squeezing the rib cage to forcefully exhale. Inhaling and exhaling while keeping your deep core muscles engaged. A prolonged exhale actually allows more absorption of air into the lungs and more air is exactly what I needed.

Here are two visualizations to help with Bellows Breathing.


“Belly Breathing” is another excellent way to relax the nervous system and induce calmness. However, it is not so great at stabilizing the core strength and giving “on the feet” energy and focus. While there are many types of breathing, the bellows technique gives me a feeling of strength and empowerment.

When I feel suffocated, need instant relief and remember to “breathe,” Bellows Breathing quickly provides more air,  a feeling of freedom from suffocation accompanied with  “ready for action” strength. 

In my newsletter, I offer information on the Belly Breathing technique. When you can lie down, relax and breathe into the belly, the reward will be calmness and peace. Personally, I feel it won’t hurt to have both techniques in your back pocket.

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