When you inhale, your diaphragm flattens downward allowing the lungs to fill. When you exhale, your diaphragm returns to its dome like shape. Diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing is the most efficient way for exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. Your diaphragm normally works automatically, but you can override the process, especially when under stress. This happens unconsciously and we become “chest and shoulder breathers” or our breathing becomes fast or shallow. As a result, less oxygen is getting to our bloodstreams and brains leading to fatigue and greater tension.
Simple Breathing Exercise.
Take a comfortable position and relax by mentally letting go of any tension you may be feeling.
Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest to follow the motion of your breathing.
Now first of all breath out through your mouth letting out as much breath as you can (Think of this as getting rid of the dirty air).
Slowly take a deep breath in; as you inhale your belly should expand like a balloon. Your chest should hardly move but if it does it should follow the rise in your belly. Do not use your shoulders to help you breath.
Exhale through your nostrils or mouth, nice and easy, feeling the hand on your belly falling gently.
Repeat the process making your breathing silent and smooth and your in and out breaths of equal duration.
Wherever you are STOP.
TAKE 2 OR 3 SLIGHTLY SLOWER, SLIGHTLY DEEPER OUT BREATHS (just let the ‘in’ breath happen)
CARRY ON WITH WHATEVER YOU WERE DOING, BUT JUST A LITTLE SLOWER
Thanks Paul, we’re feeling very relaxed after these!