Updated: Dec 5, 2017
Take a moment right now, and notice if your tongue is pressed against your teeth or the roof of your mouth. If it is, you have a pattern of breathing that is detrimental to every aspect of your health - mental, emotional, physical, and ultimately, it's keeping you from achieving your highest potential.
Perhaps you suffer from anxiety, poor digestion, difficulty regulating your emotions, chronic stress or a chronic health condition. Perhaps you are generally unaware of your breath and unable to focus your mind. You may feel like you live up in your head rather than being fully embodied. Breathing effects every single aspect of our well-being, all day, every day, throughout our entire lives! Right up until the last breath, and we want to make that a good one!
Most of the people I see in my Thai Massage Practice and Yoga/Meditation Classes have a hyperventilation breathing disorder. It's an epidemic in our hurry, faster, culture. I used to breathe this way too! For many decades of my life my stomach was held tight and unmoving during the inhale and my shoulders lifted towards the ears with each breath. If someone told me that I had to go back to breathing that way, I would opt off the planet rather than go back to experiencing life and self in that state of chronic low level anxiety and constriction.
Most people go through their entire lives with a fight or flight breathing pattern and it effects every bodily function and every emotional response! It keeps us trapped in a body that is never fully comfortable or relaxed. It stresses our adrenal and immune functions and is detrimental to digestion. It encourages disease.
There are many subtle experiences one can notice with an unconstricted breathing pattern. Placing the body into simple Yogic postures can help guide us through those experiences. Learning how to comfortably sit still can also be achieved through breathing with awareness and relaxation.
So where should your tongue be? Your tongue should be flat and relaxed on the bottom floor of your mouth, all day long. Just try to notice today, how often your tongue is pressed, and how often there is tension in your face. Perhaps you clench your jaw or perhaps you pull your eyebrows together. Just notice and whenever you do, let the tongue relax to the bottom palette of your mouth. Let there be a little space between the teeth all day long.