When I first begin to work with a client, I spend a lot of time with them on their breathing.
Most people (it’s estimated to be 90%) don’t know how to breathe properly. When you breathe fully and completely, you exercise the lungs completely. You begin to use the remote sections of the lungs, the lower lobes, that remain unused by most people.
Activating a greater portion of your lungs increases your energy levels and boosts your vitality. This is a huge help if you are out of shape and starting a fitness or exercise program. It also provides a significant boost to performance if you are training or competing. Elite athletes work on their breathing patterns to help them train harder and longer and get an edge in competition.
When I teach martial arts, I pay attention to how the student is breathing. Many times, as they work on their forms or sparring, they will actually stop breathing!
I think this is partly a reaction to performing something new and challenging. When we are unsure of ourselves or our capacity to handle the thing in front of us, we often pull within ourselves and tighten up. We try harder, we clench up.
Before you know it, we are breathing so shallow as to hardly be breathing at all.
Most breathing instruction centers around abdominal breathing, with the primary focus being whether your abdomen moves in and out when you breathe. This is an incomplete approach. When you breathe properly, you are using the muscles and structures of your chest, abdomen, sides and back. You should see and feel these areas moving, expanding, then relaxing with every full, complete breath.
Ancient martial arts instructors and philosophers even taught that you should breathe all the way into your feet!
Of course, your lungs don’t reach to your feet. Their point was to imagine you were breathing all the way down to your feet. This helps ground you and puts you in a position of strength and stability.
It may take you some practice before you are able to breathe this completely. In the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, you learn how to breathe completely. You also learn an incredible series of exercises that will have you breathing more completely and fully than ever before — while simultaneously relaxing and rejuvenating your body.
Some of the exercises you learn are adapted from traditional breathing methods, methods that involve and engage practically the entire body. They help open up your airways, strengthen the muscles that support breathing, and leave you feeling clear and energized. When you feel this good, breathing from your feet seems like a piece of cake.
You Can Do It!
20 thoughts on “Can You Breathe With Your Feet?”
Every time I read your blog I find a new way to breath. Although this breathing with the feet thing will take some getting used too.
Reminds me of the Bull Durham movie where the pitcher Nuke Laloosh was taught by his spiritual mentor to “breathe through his eyelids like a lava lizard” and it would help him be a better pitcher. (she also had him wear women’s stockings so this was part of the solution).
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Deep, full breathing really does seem to be vital to living a healthy lifestyle. I have heard the instruction to breathe al the way to your feet but did not know where it came from.
Another well done article. Thank you.
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It really is amazing how you are able to explain breathing, breathing properly, and how it can benefit us in so many ways. I find it interesting and woth a try as it definitely helps with energy and relaxation.
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I’ve never heard of breathing all the way to your feet but it’s quite a visual. I’m going to use this with my cleints. I spend a fair amount of time reminding my clients to breathe.
Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT, CES
Corrective Exercise for Every Body
That’s such a key, isn’t it? When working out, people tend to STOP breathing, clench up and get too tight. Breathing with an exercise and between sets of exercise can really enhance endurance, as well as your enjoyment of exercise. Let me know if you experience any results with your clients from using this visual. Thanks!
I find it funny that everytime I start reading your blog I start taking a deep breath. I have done deep breathing where I breathed to my tailbone but never my feet. I love the idea of breathing to your feet to anchor you to the ground.
Yours In Health!
Dr. Wendy M. Schauer, D.C., R.K.C.
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I would never before today have even ventured to have thought I COULD breath unto my feet!
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I prefer to breath with my gills…
Breathe deeper and be healthier its one small step but rewards are great
I suspect that you will soon teach us how to breath under water at this rate.
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Thanks for sharing these interesting exercises with us. You explain them very well and it is easy to follow them
Thanks for another great article on how to breath. It doesnt make sense that it has only taken me 34 years how to do it right.
Scott Sylvan Bell
Now go implement!
If I don’t let my feet breathe they get really stinky. (Getting tired of all the foot breathing jokes yet?) That is actually a great visualization of what we should be accomplishing–the notion of breathing deeply enough to fill our lungs all the way to our feet.
No worries! I’m digging the foot breathing jokes!
how could one convince major health providers to provide this kind of info to their patients/clients on a large scale?
Great idea! This is one of my long-term strategies or goals…to work with corporations, or health / benefits companies that provide health and wellness programs to corporations. This type of information can be a win-win: employees feel more in control and are better able to manage their energy and focus; the company enjoys more productive employees and the good will associated with offering extra benefits to their people.
There is much power in our feet…who knew?
Yours In Health!
G.E. Moon II
I find that when I use your ideas I definately feel more energized!
I’m glad you explained how to breathe with your feet.
Glad to finally be rid of the weird visual I had of an oxygen mask attached to my feet. 🙂
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