Are you a nose or mouth breather? A question I regularly ask when discussing breathing. Learning if and when you breathe through your nose or mouth is a good way to observe yourself throughout various situations in life. It may be true that some forms of breathing are more beneficial than others, the first step is to become aware of how we are breathing right now.
Breathing through your nose is ideal as the nose is well designed as a breathing apparatus. The nose warms, moistens and filters the air before it reaches the lungs. However, for those of us that have stuck with nose breathing while swimming, it is a mildly painful lesson to learn that the mouth is a much better choice!
Breathing through the mouth brings in a larger volume of air, which is highly useful in situations where we need more air. Strenuous exercise being a good example.
Since breathing is the only vital bodily function where we have some volitional control, we can view it is as a window to our vitality and changeable with our conscious, kind intentions. Ask yourself at any given moment: am I breathing? how am I breathing? where am I breathing? This self inquiry into your breath is a mindful anytime meditation.