Five Ways You can Take a Deep Breath Right Now
1. Upper Chest Inhales
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.
2. Diaphragmatic Breathing aka Belly Breathing
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.
3. Full Lung Inhale — Diaphragm First
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.
4. Full Lung Inhale — Upper Chest First
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.
5. Reverse the Exhale Pattern
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.