Are there any tests I can take to see if I’m breathing in a healthy way?
Except for medical problems related to breathing, I’m generally not an advocate of “breathing tests,” since they are often measured in either an extremely statistical or extremely subjective way. They also tend to create anxiety in the person being tested, and to reduce breathing to an entirely mechanical process having little to do with awareness and the more inward and spiritual dimensions of breath.
That being said, you might well want to learn more about some of the important “objective” markers of healthy breathing, and to see how your own breathing measures up, at Michael White’s Optimal Breathing site. Known as “the breathing coach,” Mike has put a lot of thought, knowledge, and experience into these “self-tests,” and they can be quite revealing. When you take these self-tests, however, please don’t try too hard. Use the tests as a way to learn more about your own current way of breathing. And whatever the numbers seem to tell you, don’t be frightened or elated by the results. Clearly, you would not be exploring breathing if you didn’t already know or sense that your own breathing is not as complete, natural, effective, and free as it could be, no matter what the test results tell you. With breathing, it is never a good idea to compare yourself with anyone else. What is important is to feel each day that your breathing is becoming freer, more authentic, and more natural. Click on Breathing Test to take the free test.