Friday, March 13, 2009

You thought proper breathing was automatic...

... but in reality, most people don't breathe correctly at all. Stress produces shallow breathing, which, in turn, produces yet more stress! According to this article I came across, improper breathing can also result in lower metabolic activity, decreased energy, a weakened immune system, and numerous other problems.

And we already know that proper breathing is essential to all relaxation and meditative practices. Learning to breathe the right way automatically increases your level of relaxation.

Shallow, improper breathing is done with only the chest. Full, correct breathing starts in the abdomen, allowing the diaphragm to flex naturally.

Begin your inhalation by pushing your belly out and downward. Then let the diaphragm flex to fill your lungs, as your chest expands to it's full capacity. Begin the exhalation in your chest, and let the air leave your lungs naturally. Lastly, pull your belly upward and inward.

So inhalation begins in the abdomen and finishes in the chest. Exhalation begins in the chest and finishes in the abdomen. Practice this, and see how much better you feel!

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