Diaphragm breathing basics
Here’s the basic procedure for diaphragmatic breathing:
1. Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat on the floor, your bed, or another comfortable, flat surface.
2. Relax your shoulders.
3. Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach.
4. Breathe in through your nose for about two seconds. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. During this type of breathing, make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still.
5. Purse your lips (as if you’re about to drink through a straw), press gently on your stomach, and exhale slowly for about two seconds.
6. Repeat these steps several times for best results.
The rib stretch is another helpful deep breathing exercise. Here’s how to do it:
1. Stand up straight and arch your back.
2. Breathe out until you just can’t anymore.
3. Inhale slowly and gradually, taking in as much air as possible until you can’t breathe in anymore.
4. Hold your breath for about 10 seconds.
5. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. You can do this normally or with pursed lips.
Numbered breathing is a good exercise for gaining control over your breathing patterns. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Stand up, staying still, and close your eyes.
2. Inhale deeply until you can’t take in anymore air.
3. Exhale until all air has been emptied from your lungs.
4. Keep your eyes closed! Now, inhale again while picturing the number 1.
5. Keep the air in your lungs for a few seconds, then let it all out.
6. Inhale again while picturing the number 2.
7. Hold your breath while counting silently to 3, then let it all out again.
8. Repeat these steps until you’ve reached 8. Feel free to count higher if you feel comfortable.