Stress, poor posture, snug clothes, and habit are some of the reasons that keep us from breathing properly. We wind up using our chest muscles instead of our abdomen.
Belly breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, is a simple deep breathing technique that teaches you how to use your diaphragm, a sheet of muscle at the bottom of our lungs and the most important muscle for breathing.
Deep-breathing, or belly breathing, assists the lymphatic system of our body. The diaphragm is the muscle that we’re supposed to use in respiration. It is a dome-shaped muscle located underneath our lungs. When we breathe in it comes down and when we breathe out it comes up. The action of the diaphragm actually moves two thirds of the lymphatic fluids of our body (the waste products of many of our body’s systems). Belly breathing is one of the best ways we can cleanse our body. It also works towards helping regulate the PH of our blood.
It is often used as a complementary therapy for anxiety disorders and may also help to boost energy and stamina.
The goal should be to breathe this way all of the time.
Here are the step-by-step instructions:
Sit in a chair, stand, or lie on your back. You don’t have to sit cross-legged.
Place one hand flat against the abdomen. Your thumb should be around your navel.
Breathe in through your nose at an even rate.
Allow your abdomen to expand, rather than your upper chest. You should feel the hand on your abdomen being pushed away from your body as your abdomen rises.
Breathe out slowly and evenly through your mouth.
Again, count silently. Exhalation should take about twice as long as inhalation. So if you counted to three when you inhaled, strive to count to six when you exhale, but don’t force it.
Repeat this breathing once or twice a day.