Breathe your way to Sanity
Almost a year and a half ago, my fitness journey came to a screeching halt. I had been training for a half marathon and developed runner's knee and strained my left abductor muscle. Running was my main form of exercise, so without it, I didn't really have a routine. That's when I picked up yoga. As of this week, I have been practicing at CorePower Yoga for a year! I try to go once a week and boy does it make a difference! It was here that I first learned about the importance of my breath. Yoga isn't about flexibility...it's about your breathing and controlling your breath.
If you've ever been upset and some tells you to chill out or take a deep breath, it probably doesn't help in the heat of the moment; however, the root of the phrase actually stems from a good suggestion! When you breathe deeply, your heart rate slows down, your muscles relax, gases in your body return to their normal balance, and the number of stress hormones in the blood dissipate. All that from a simple breath? Yes!
So, I've always had somewhat of an issue with breathing. I was diagnosed with asthma as a kid (never had any attacks) and also breathed the opposite way for a while - like my stomach would go in when breathing in, instead of out. One of my voice teachers had a real issue with this and would stand against me to make sure I paid attention to my breathing. (Side note, she was like 4'9") The point is, it's easy to focus on breathing when you're in the moment or whenever you're stressed. I actually use yoga breathing at work sometimes to release energy, without even knowing it. My co-workers notice though;) But I usually don't notice my breathing until I'm stressed or until someone points it out. It'd be awesome to pinpoint my breath change before stress occurs, because that would eliminate mood changes, some emotions, and even prevent fights!
That is issue is now a thing of the past, thanks to Spire wearable tracker. Spire is a mindfulness + activity tracker that is pretty much the coolest tracker I've seen. It lays against your skin, either on the side of your bra, the front of your bra, next to your breast bone, or along one areas between your hip bone and bellybutton. Yes, it tracks your steps and activity, but it is so much more than that. Spire wearable tracker tracks your breathing patterns and alerts you of changes. It has a beautiful app, which I featured in the above photos. The main screen of the app just shows you your breathing patterns. One of the coolest parts about Spire wearable tracker, is that it aligns with your calendar. This is another screen in the app. When you look at your day in review, you can see when you were calm, tense, or focused and what meetings or events those breathing patterns aligned with. Meeting with a not-so-nice boss? Oh, no wonder you were tense, and so-on! (fyi, not referencing mine. My boss is nice :) ) If you have your phone near you, you'll actually get text updates from your Spire mindfulness + activity tracker on anything from congratulating you on have a 19 minute focus streak or telling you that you haven't taken deep breaths in a while and ask if you have time to take some. They even have "breathing exercises" to take you through if you have moment to do so. It's like having an accountability partner in your pocket!
So what makes spire different? On top of tracking your breath and in turn preventing anxiety and stress (which is a big difference!), it also tracks your movement. You get a "sedentary" report, in addition to finding out how many steps you've taken. It's easy to take joy in your steps, but what is honestly more motivating for me, is seeing that I have been sedentary for 9 hours. Get up and go, girl! It's also cool that it doesn't have to be worn on your arm or leg to take steps. With those types of trackers, you miss the steps taken if you are carrying something or holding hands. Also, in my opinion, it's more professional to wear it where it can't be seen. Last but not least, another favorite feature of mine is that it charges wirelessly! To learn even more about Spire wearable tracker, click here.
So, are you intrigued? Breathing doesn't just keep you alive...it has so many other benefits, if you do it correctly! Next time you're frustrated, sad, or "just can't", try taking deep breaths and see where that gets ya!
Like what you read? Click here to subscribe and receive every post in your inbox!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.