Breathing. It is the very first thing we do when we enter this world. It is the last thing we do before we pass away and move out of this world. It is the pulse of life. If you look at a baby or small child, they know how to breathe deeply and fully. They take beautiful, deep breaths in and out, all day long. You can see their bellies inflate and deflate with each breath.
Now, compare that to how most adults breathe. If you say to a grown-up, “Take a big, deep breath,” what happens? You’ll see their shoulders scrunch up, their neck become strained, their chest might inflate a bit. They’re breathing in a tight, shallow way, high up in the chest—not breathing deeply and easily like we all used to do as children. Most grown-ups need to “re-learn” how to breathe deeply. Fortunately, it’s not hard to do. Here are some exercises you can try.
Simple Breathing Exercises
In The Morning
First thing in the morning, when you wake up, roll onto your back, stare up at the ceiling, place a hand on your belly, and just allow the breath to move into that part of your body. Let your belly expand upward and downwards. Imagine this pure, energizing breath filling up your chest cavity, your belly, and moving down your legs, down your arms, and out your fingertips. Visualize breath and life moving into all parts of your body.
Any Time Of The Day
Place one hand on your belly, invite breath into your body and count to five. Inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Hold the breath for two counts. Next, exhale for twice the counts you inhaled. Exhale for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, until your hand compresses your belly. Breathe in again for five counts, then draw your belly button back toward your spine and let out every last drop of breath in your body for ten counts.Eli DeFaria
Then repeat. Inhale for five. Exhale for ten. Inhale. Exhale. Keep repeating for a few minutes. If you’re ever feeling shaky, anxious, worried, or distracted, this is a fast way to quiet down your mind. It’s so good for your circulatory system, your immune system, all the beautiful systems in your body.
If you start off doing this and you can’t exhale for the full count of ten, no problem. Inhale for a count of three and exhale for a count of six. Or inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of eight. The important thing is that your exhalation is slower and longer than your inhalation.