Just what are basic breathing techniques

When it comes to rest and relaxation it is not just physical rest and relaxation that is important to keep us fit and healthy. Proper relaxation is also important for anyone that meditates and follows a spiritual regime as well as for people who suffer from breathing related conditions including COPD, asthma and dyspnoea.

If you are undertaking any sort of fitness regime or taking up yoga or any other form of spiritual programme to help with your condition then it is important to start doing breathing exercises to help you breathe better. Begin each programme with these breathing exercises and then practice them over a period of time. Depending on your level of fitness and your own capabilities this may take a few days or a few months.

Any breathing techniques and exercises that you adopt should be simple and easy to practice depending on your own individual physical needs. Before you begin any form of exercise remember be comfortably dressed. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing will not restrict your exercise in any way and can help speed up the relaxation of your body – especially the muscles, as there is ample room for them to move without being restricted.

When undertaking any form of exercise and in particular breathing exercises, if you suffer from any illness or breathing condition such as asthma or COPD then you should always seek professional and medical advice.

Pre warm up exercises

Before starting your regime you must carry out a warm up exercise to totally relax all the muscles in your body. A good way to relax is by lying down on your back and starting with your toes begin to tense up your muscles then relax them. Next work on the leg muscles and slowly work your way up your body until you finally reach your head where all you need to do is tense your scalp then relax it. The final pre warm up exercise should be geared at the whole body. What you need to do is tense up the whole body in one go then relax every part of it at the same time. Repeat this several times or more until you feel all of your body is totally relaxed.

Breathing exercises, here we go

Before starting your breathing exercises make sure you can find a nice quiet place to go to away from everyone else and more importantly a place that is interruption free. Next you need to sit comfortably on an exercise mat with your legs crossed or upright on a straight-backed arm chair. Make sure your spine is straight at all times during your exercise and breathing training.

Start by breathing in through your nose slowly and exhaling to a count of four. Hold your breath and breathe in again for a count of four, then breathe out slowly through your mouth, counting to four once again. Repeat this breathing technique for a few minutes during your first exercise programme and then increase the time by a minute or two on subsequent exercises programmes until you feel in yourself that physical relaxation is taking place. What you are trying to achieve here is to integrate these breathing techniques into your everyday life.

Starting these breathing techniques at the same time each day, or even twice or three times a day on a regular basis, will help greatly, particularly if you are looking for help with treatment for dyspnoea.

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