Breathe In - Breathe Out
Deep breathing seems unnatural for most of us. When breathing fully, the belly and diaphragm expand so the lungs are filled with oxygenated air. Most people breathe very shallow so that their stomachs appear flat, which not only limits range of motion of the diaphragm, but can cause anxiousness and shortness of breath.
Deep abdominal breath control can help lower the heart rate and blood pressure, plus create a deep sense of relaxation. Below are 2 techniques - beginner to gain insight to how breathing works and the second is more drill based.
BASIC BREATH TECHNIQUE
1. Sit or lie down comfortably, rest one hand on chest and other hand below navel
2. Tune in to the way you breathe. Inhale and exhale naturally through your nose for a few minutes, noticing the slight rise and fall of your hand.
3. Start to count silently forward (one, two, three...), then backward (...three, two, one), as you breathe in and out.
4. Gradually make each exhalation twice as long as each inhalation. Focus on breathing slowly and smoothly.
4-4-8 BREATHING TECHNIQUE –
To learn this breath drill, I like to lie on my stomach, rest my head on top of my hands. This allow me to feel my belly rise and empty, plus focus on just the breath. The 4-4-8 is a basic breathing technique designed to help you relax. Using this technique can help ease tension so you can focus on what you need and want to do. No matter what the goal is, deep breathing can help to clarify thinking. This breathing technique has four easy steps:
1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, expanding your belly
2. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
3. Release your breath through your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of 8. Feel your belly lower.
4. Without a break, breathe in again for a count of 4, repeating the entire technique three to four times in a row, then resume normal breathing and activity.
5. Focus on counting when breathing in, holding the breath, and breathing out. You may find yourself feeling mildly light-headed after doing this. Sit still for a moment and it should pass.
Stay tuned for some LIVE IG and Video Posts on breath and your health.