One of my worst habits is holding my breath. If I’m in a stress situation, I stop breathing. If I am in high-concentration mode, I stop breathing. When I tend to exercise — even during my Yoga asanas — I tend to forget where I am and hold my breath instead of breathing properly.
The reason it is a bad idea to hold your breath — except when you’re under the water and such — is because holding your breath spikes your blood pressure something awful. Your face changes color. Your heart rate rises. Your whole innards are about to explode through your noggin.
Learning how to effectively breathe is key — not only during Yoga and aerobic exercise — but during your regular, ordinary, life as well.
The problem with our breathing is that so few of us do it properly. We breathe by expanding our ribcage instead of dropping our diaphragms and extending our stomachs.