Overview
Breathing exercise is an effective tool to attain a relaxed and clear state of mind as we can control and adjust the pace and depth of it. There is 20% reduction in blood level of oxygen by the aging process and our normal breathing practice. Poor quality of breathing habit decreases our energy and negatively affects mental attentiveness. If we do not follow the proper way of breathing, the aging process badly affects our respiratory process.

Breathing Exercise

The rib cage and the chest muscles become stiff causing inhalation to become more problematic. Reduced elasticity and weak chest muscles leave impure air in the lung tissues and prevents fresh oxygen to reach the blood stream. Rapid and shallow breathing is often due to a bad posture and stiff or weak muscles. It leads to some respiratory diseases, poor oxygen supply to tissues, lethargy and heart diseases.
There are some easy ways to get maximum benefit from the breathing exercises. Let us know in detail.

1) Complete Breathing Exercises

Sit up straight in a firm and flat surface. Exhale slowly and deeply. Inhale slowly and deeply gently relaxing the belly muscles. Try to feel your belly is filling with air. Continue inhaling even after you filled your belly with air. After filling the belly, fill up to the middle of the chest. Try feeling your rib cage expanding. Hold your breath for 3 seconds, and then start exhaling slowly. As the air is going out, relax your rib cage and chest wall. Slowly but forcefully pull your belly as to exhale as completely as possible.

Breathing Exercise

Close your eyes while doing so and try to concentrate on your breathing. You should relax your mind completely, do not think about anything else except your breathing – choose a calm and cool place. Repeat the whole procedure continuously for 5 minutes. You should try doing this procedure twice daily.

2) Belly Breath Exercise

Lie down over a flat and firm bed on your back. You can keep some small pillows to ease you up. Put your palms just below the rib cage. Your middle fingers would touch each other barely. Take a slow deep breathe. When the diaphragm is pushed down, the stomach will expand a little and your fingertips will be separated a bit. This movement points to the full use of lungs – culminating in a really deep breath rather than the ‘puffed chest’ breath practiced by many people as the maximum lung capacity. Continue doing this breathing exercise for 5 minutes in a row.


3) Humming Breathing Exercise

Follow the procedure as in the case of complete breathing exercise like mentioned above. When you are exhaling, utter the word ‘HUM’ or ‘AUM’. The sound should come from the deep of your soul. Keep sounding the word as long as possible. Pull up your stomach muscles, and then squeeze out some more humming. Then relax. Again do the same procedure for five times.


4) Chinese Breathing Exercise

Chinese Tai Chi Chuan gave us an excellent short and deep breath exercise. This method allows three short inhales through the nose. Between these, exhaling is not suitable. During the first inhale, you should lift your arms from the sides straight out in the front side at the height of the shoulder. In the second one, the arms are opened out straight to the sides keeping it in the same level.

Breathing Exercise

During the third, the arms are raised over the head. Then exhalation is to be done through the mouth. The arms are moved in a semicircle back down to the sides. Generally, 10-12 inhalations are sufficient or you can do it until you feel any kind of headache.

 

Further Reading:

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