Exhale: Breathing for Vagal Tone

By
Lillah Schwartz, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
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If you are a shallow breather, chances are you hold a lot of tension in your neck and shoulders. Chest breathing is short and located mainly in the chest and upper back. This means you are not benefitting from a full diaphragmatic and functional breath. 
 
Chest and neck tension also relate to subtle or obvious anxiety and fear. These emotions can activate the vagus nerve to put us on high alert as we search for emotional or physical safety from real or perceived danger.
 

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