Thursday, April 15, 2010

Are you Breathing Correctly?

Right now, put one hand over your navel and one hand on your chest. Now take a deep breath. Which hand moves?  For at least 85% of us it will be the hand on our chest. Unfortunately this is wrong.

I am now going to give you a simple bit of information which will change your life forever.

Place your hands back on your chest and abdomen. Now this time take a deep breath but concentrate on making the hand over your navel move out first. This is the proper way to breathe.

Take a moment to watch a toddler breathe. Babies are born with perfect body mechanics and we can learn so much from watching how they move. When a baby stands, they stand with perfect posture. When a baby runs they run perfectly on the balls of their feet. When a baby breathes you can see their abdomen expand fully before their chest. We should do our best to emulate these behaviors.

When we breathe into our chest, as we have been conditioned to do for so long, we only utilize a small amount of the usable space in our lungs. This leads to an oxygen debt leaving us tense and anxious.
By practicing breathing into our abdomen we utilize all of the space intended to be filled with oxygen making much more efficient use of our oxygen. This will relax you, relieving tension and calming you emotionally.

Breathing with the mouth and lungs is associated with tension anxiety. Breathing through the nose and abdomen is associated with calm and relaxation. Practicing this breathing technique  will change your life forever and lead to a calmer more peaceful you.

If you spend 15 minutes a day practicing proper breathing techniques your body will adapt and you will turn it into an unconscious act.

Here is one method to begin practicing:

  • Lie on your back on a firm surface
  • Place your hands together in an upside down triangle with your  middle finger tips touching just below your navel and the heels of your hands and your thumbs running along the margins of your ribs.
  • Take a deep breath through your nose expanding your abdomen so that your fingertips come apart first followed by the raising of your thumbs.
  • When you exhale feel you thumbs lower first and finish with your middle fingers coming back together.
Take long slow breaths in through your nose and out through pursed lips. Feel your abdomen expand starting at your navel and traveling up towards your sternum.

Learn to breathe correctly and you will change your life.

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