Are you breathing properly?

In optimal breathing, each inhale expands the lower torso, back and ribs while the shoulders, neck, face, and chest remain relaxed. Upon observation the belly expands as inhalation occurs. During exhalation the belly retracts as the diaphragm relaxes. A person’s breathing can be assessed in several different ways.

One way to test whether you are breathing properly is to put your hand on your lower abdomen. When you inhale, you want to feel your abdomen expand. Many people are paradoxical breathers which means they breathe through their chest.

To develop proper breathing habits, try the following breathing exercises:

Proper breathing is slow, deep, and rhythmic, and involves inhalation and exhalation through the nose. Deep means that the initial movement is from the abdomen and from the lower ribs. With the complete breath, the movement starts in the lower abdomen due to contraction of the diaphragm and on the sides of the body then moves up to the chest. To check your breathing, put one hand on your low abdomen and one on your chest and take a deep breath. If your chest expands first, you are probably using your neck muscles to breathe, not your diaphragm. Another way to check your breathing is to put your hands on your side, just below the chest. When you inhale your hands should move away from the body. 

Alternate nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing has been shown to improve brain function on both sides of the brain and serves to create balance between the right and left sides of the body. It also emphasizes the importance of breathing from the nose versus from the mouth. In addition, alternate nostril breathing is known to have a calming and revitalizing effect on the body. It also soothes the nervous system and may help to improve sleep.
Buteyko Method
This encourages slow, rhythmic shallow breathing, as well as breathing through the nose and increasing the pause in breathing. This method encourages the body to tolerate a higher CO2 level. There are a number of YouTube videos that explain this method.
Cleansing breath
Cleansing breath or Kapalbhati is a breathing technique that uses forceful exhalation to remove stale air from the lungs, and to improve the function of various systems of the body, including respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and nervous systems. Cleansing breath also strengthens and tones the muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor.

There are thousands of methods to improve breathing. Finding the techniques that resonate with you, your lifestyle and activities, improves the sustainability value of your practices. Breathing as a healing technique is part of our wholistic approach, which is discussed in our 5-Track Plan. Get your free copy of this life changing booklet now.

Feel free to acquaint yourself to this 👆🏻 wholistic self improvement and management 

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