Different types of breathing exercises

Proper breathing allows the body to get more oxygen with minimum effort, making every physical and mental activity more efficient throughout the day. Breathing exercises also help the mind, body and soul relax when under pressure or under stress. Carrying out some simple breathing exercises can quite literally alleviate any stress.

Breathing exercises can be done anywhere at any time. The best possible environment is a quiet place where you are able to comfortably sit with your spine straight. As well as having a straight posture make sure your eyes and chin are level with the horizon. It is important your mood is relaxed and you are in loose clothing.

Learning breathing

When learning breathing always pay attention to your breath pattern. Never try and change it, just observe it. If you find your attention is wandering, just focus back one breath at a time. Increase your breath by a few seconds every day and you will make great progress.

Sitting on a chair with your head slightly bent down towards your knees is an ideal position for breathing. Inhale through your nose the deepest breath you can while at the same time making sure your tummy presses into your legs and your body rises up and you feel your rib cage getting very wide. Exhale through your nose. It is ideal to repeat this exercise 15-20 times.  Ensure you sit up slowly as you can feel slightly dizzy.

Muscles in between the ribs are known as intercostals muscles. You can squeeze more air out by using these muscles. Exhale and keep trying to squeeze more air out. Eventually you will lengthen the exhalation so it matches inhalation and it will encourage your body to draw in more and more air.

When learning breathing it is important you are focused when exhaling. Focusing will encourage your body to bring more breath in. It is important that you observe your breathing normally for a minute or so. Once you are comfortable with focusing your breathing, try and view it like a continuous cycle – you exhale to start breathing and this and inhalation finishes your breath. At all times it is important to squeeze your rib muscles to push out all the air from your lungs. The cycle starts again when you breathe in.

Stimulating breath

Stimulating breathing exercises can refresh you if you are feeling tired, lethargic or to simply increase your physical and mental energy. Yoga is a great way to help you relax and breathe properly as Yoga uses the negative and positive energy systems of your body. Place your tongue in the ridge of hard tissue behind the palate of your teeth and breathe in and out rapidly through the nose with the mouth closed tightly. Try and do this as quickly as possible. Begin by doing this for 15 seconds and then increase by 5 seconds per day until you reach one minute.

Quickly calming breath

This is the breathing technique you want to draw on any time you are upset and want to calm down quickly without having to think much. Observe your breath for a minute. Don’t try to change it, just pay attention to it. Now, you need to focus on making your breath deeper, quieter, slower and more regular. Apply to both your inhale and exhale and keep going until you are at ease.

Laughter therapy

This is a great simple exercise which is also enjoyable. Laughter therapy is great to do before you go to work, pick up the kids or before you attend a social function. All you need to do is draw in a huge breath through your nose filling up your lungs then kick back your head and laugh. Laugh as loud as you can for as long as your breath will last. Repeat one more time and you will notice the difference.  Laughter does not cost anything and it really helps improve your life. There are so many physiological, mental and emotional responses to laughter that it really can’t be challenged as “the best medicine”. If you are going to try some breathing exercises, laughter is a great one to do.

Following the simple breathing techniques above can also aid you in your breathing and are effective for the treatment of COPD and Asthma.  Simple inspiratory muscle training exercises will greatly improve your breathing

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