Jane Brody on Breathing

The Breath Lesson
Miriam Sagan

Color the lungs blue
Because breath
Is a blue ribbon unraveling
From sky to mouth.
This is the lesson of breath:
The meaning of counting to ten
Before touch. Breathless.

I found the article below a welcome reprieve from the continuous refrain of “just put on a mask.” In fact, I am going to get some breath lessons from a professional later this week! As a person with one working lung, I often use breathing techniques–alternate nostril, full exhalation, three part breath, and even Lamaze to create a breath I can be in sync with.
It’s always good to be reminded again that inspiration means to bring air into the body.

Jane Brody: “Doctors who study breathing say that the vast majority of Americans do it inadequately,” James Nestor, author of a new book, “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art,” wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal. “How we breathe matters,” he said, “and our attention to it is long overdue.”

For example, Mr. Nestor noted, “nose breathing is better than mouth breathing” because it’s protective; the nose filters, heats and treats raw air. “Inhaling through the nose stimulates the release of hormones and nitric oxide, which helps to regulate vital functions like blood pressure and increase oxygenation throughout the body,” Mr. Nestor said in an email.

Given that most of us take about 25,000 breaths a day and breathing properly is critical to how well our bodies function, we should try to get the most benefit we can from this life-sustaining activity, with or without a mask.