So you must be wondering what is there to learn about deep breathing exercise? Breathing is something that you do without thinking about it and you do it all the time. And yet, most of us do not take a deep enough breath to fully oxygenate the body. Following this deep breathing exercise regularly can help you breathe properly all the time.
Take a quick look at people around you – when they breathe, they often suck in their gut and their shoulders will lift up towards their ears. This is a classic example of shallow breathing, not deep breathing. Chances are they don't even realize they are doing it, as they have been breathing this way for years. The majority of people use only one-third of their breathing capacity regularly. Have you hear the old saying - use it or lose it?
Here is a simple deep breathing exercise that you can practice. Once you become proficient in it, you can spend two minutes doing it and literally feel stress and tension melt away from your body. It allows your mind to calm down and leaves you feeling relaxed and centered. It is extremely effective at relieving headaches. Following this deep breathing exercise for even two minutes each day will help your body relearn how to breathe deeply on a regular basis.
Don't become discouraged by the number of instructions. The efficacy of this deep breathing exercise depends upon proper posture, proper movement of the body in conjunction with the breath and finally, proper sound. I am being as detailed as possible since I can't see you to determine what point you are starting from. If at all possible, do this deep breathing exercise in front of a mirror or have someone watch you, so you can make sure that you get the full effect of the exercise while you are learning it.
Now place one hand on your abdomen. With your mouth closed, take a deep breath in, and feel your abdomen expand, then release the breath. Your abdomen should expand a good 4-6 inches if you are taking in a full breath.
Now place your other hand on your chest and feel the slight expansion that occurs when you take a breath in. The movement in your chest should occur after your abdomen expands. This movement is what happens when your lungs fill from bottom to top with cleansing breath. Make sure that your shoulders stay relaxed and down, away from your ears. If your shoulders move, this is a sign that you are not breathing deeply.
When you first try this, have someone watch you and see if your abdomen truly expands. Also have them keep an eye on your shoulders to make sure that you aren't moving them up and down in conjunction with your breath. You may want to have them put gentle pressure on your shoulders to make sure they are truly relaxed. The only movement should be in your torso, caused by the expansion of your lungs to their fullest capacity. We are so conditioned to suck in our guts in order to look our best that often this is the hardest part of the exercise. One of the first things I myself do is to loosen my pants so my abdomen can expand!
Take a moment to notice that the small of your back presses against the wall with each breath in. Now that truly is deep breathing!
Proper Deep Breath Out – move to this section only when you are sure you are taking a full breath in:
This part is much easier! With your mouth closed, as you exhale, slowly compress your abdomen as if you are trying to internally touch your spine with your belly button. This conscious movement helps your lungs expel all of the air that you have taken in.
Create the Sound of Relaxation – first master the steps above, before tackling this one. It simply helps your body to relax even more. It does not affect the amount of cleansing oxygen that you are already taking in.
Deep breathing exercises are The Natural Path to good health.