Most people do not reach their full potential in breathing. Thankfully, this is something we can work on to improve our vitality.

Each breath holds the characteristics of depth, temperature, pace and apparatus used. In each breath, oxygen is exchanged in the lungs for carbon dioxide, the transfer of fuel and waste products needed for every cell in the body to function properly.

Studies show that most people only use only about 50% of their lung capacity when breathing.

The shortest breath can happen in less than a second, while the longest breath held to date lasted over 24 minutes, by diver Aleix Segura Vendrell, after he inhaled a breath of pure oxygen.

Breathing vents about 350ml (a cup and a half) of water each day.

At rest, most people take about 10-16 breath cycles per minute.

The average volume of a “resting” breath is about 500ml (just over 2 cups).

Research shows that between 35 and 45% of people worldwide have halitosis, or bad breath.

Science has also determined that individuals who utilize optimal breathing practices, (deep, efficient breaths), are likely to have less illness and disease present.

An optimal breathing practice is deep diaphragmatic breathing. Refer to the previous article to learn how to do this technique.

As you become more advanced in your breathing practice, you may choose to add a mantra, or phrase, to your breathing cycle. A simple one that can be used to both slow the breath down and even it out are:

On the Inhale: “I Am Breathing In”

On the exhale: “I Am Breathing Out”

Give this a try for 5-10 deep diaphragmatic breaths. What do you notice?