Deep breathing is a great opportunity to oxygenate our blood, calm our mind & body, and become more aware of the present moment. Like most things in life, there are a variety of ways to accomplish the same result. Here are five different ways you can take a deep breath right now!
Check out these helpful deep breathing tips before getting started or jump right in to the five ways to take a deep breath right now!
Before we get started, here are some general tips that will hold true for the different ways to take a deep breath we will cover.
First, breathe in through the nose. Nose hairs and mucus offer us a variety of extra filters against dirt and particulates in the air.
By taking many deep inhales through our mouth we could start to experience a scratchy throat.
Of course, a few deep inhales through the mouth are perfectly fine.
But what we practice, we will ultimately perform.
So if you want to take deep breaths instinctively with good technique, then start begin honing exactly what you want in con.
Second, sit, stand, or lay down comfortably with a gently straight spine.
When our spine is in its most natural position our hips are directly below our shoulders; not thrusting forward or curving backwards.
Third, our shoulder blades are softly placed back and down which will open up our chest fully.
Roll your shoulders up by your ears and then circle your shoulders back and down.
Fourth, to increase the depth of your inhales lengthen your exhales. Your lungs will expand as you continue to take deeper and deeper breaths. There is not goal of depth other than what you can comfortably attain.
Five, begin each exercise by exhaling fully. Start with completely empty lungs for each cycle.
Ok… let’s jump in to these five ways to breathe deep!
Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly.
Can you breath in so that only the hand on your chest rises? Of course you can!
Keep practicing and see how with each breath you can increase the expansion of your chest without moving your belly.
Once you have a few cycles down moving only your upper hand, try filling your upper chest and drawing your diaphragm inwards slightly with your stomach muscles. See how your chest moves differently.
Next, focus on breathing in deeply to your diaphragm so that your belly moves.
When we fill our diaphragm with air it pushes our stomach area forward.
With one hand on chest and one hand on your stomach, see if you can only move the hand on your stomach without moving the hand on your chest.
As you continue to play with deep breathes moving your belly, begin engaging your core muscles (muscles around your stomach and lower back) with each exhale.
Squeeze your core tight on the bottom of each complete exhale.
Wring out the last milliliter of air from your lungs you can using your core muscles.
Next we put them both together.
Start with our diaphragm and continue all the way up and through our upper chest.
Hold it for a brief moment at the top.
Feel how much pressure you are containing in your lungs.
And then slowly leak your exhale out through your mouth.
Begin with your diaphragm. Engage your core and squeeze out the air in our diaphragm as you hold your upper chest full.
Once your diaphragm is completely empty begin to exhale your from your upper chest.
Feel your chest lower as you continue to exhale.
Fully empty your lungs and pause at the bottom, completely breathless.
Notice any sensations or thought patterns coming up in the present moment.
Let them go as you inhale again. Starting through the nose and filling your diaphragm first then chest.
Now, let’s reverse the order.
Exhale fully before slowly inhaling filling your upper chest and then filling your diaphragm so your belly rises to meet your chest.
Exhale your breath in the same order you inhaled.
First release the air from your upper chest.
Then release the air from your diaphragm by squeezing your core muscles inward as you empty.
After playing around with the previous techniques try reversing the exhale pattern.
If your inhale first into your upper chest, begin your exhale starting with your diaphragm.
If you begin your inhale with your diaphragm, then begin your exhale with your upper chest.
See how you can apply these deep breathing techniques to these two exercises:
What do you think of these different ways to take a deep breath right now? Do you have any other advice to add or techniques to share? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!
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