There may be no other human activity as transcendent as breathing, because all of our body activities require oxygen for their functioning; oxygen is our body’s main foodstuff…
Breathing correctly purifies our blood by contributing oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide. Incorrect breathing provides deficient cellular oxygenation and a deficient elimination of carbon dioxide as well as cardio circulatory problems, laringytis, gas in the digestive tract, tiredness, nervousness, and a lot more.
But, what is the right way of breathing?
Let us first discuss “diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing”…
The right way of breathing is the abdominal or diaphragmatic one. It must be deep, basically through the nose, slow and rhythmical.
This way of breathing is similar to the way we fill a balloon with air: when we inhale, the air must reach the base of our lungs by inflating the abdomen, which is the equivalent to the balloon, first; then, when we exhale, the air comes out of the abdomen and the “balloon” gets rid of the air. This in and out movement of the abdomen is due to the diaphragmatic muscle which, upon contracting, is lowered and creates pressure inside the abdomen, thus pushing it out. When we exhale, the muscle relaxes and goes up, so our abdomen gets back in. This is the same mechanism when we fill a bottle with water: from the bottom to the upper part. When we breathe, the air must fill the bottom of our lungs first and then the upper part.
Aside from the many health benefits and the improvement in the quality of living we get when we breathe correctly, there seems to be a relationship among longevity, quality of living and breathing rate…
Breathing deeply and slowly brings along physical relaxation as well as a state of calm, serenity and well-being. On the contrary, the states of anxiety, nervousness and general stress, with their corresponding psychological and physiological alterations, go hand in hand with fast and superficial breathing.
The simple fact of changing our breathing rate can bring great benefits to our physical, mental and even spiritual health. The next time you feel tense, tired, stressed, anxious or sad, take a few minutes to breathe slowly and deeply …you will notice the difference! In conclusion: breathing fully is living fully…
Now learn a full breathing exercise: the abdominal, pectoral clavicular breathing, known as “three story breathing”. This exercise is used to achieve full command of our breathing.
Our trunk (thorax/abdomen), and therefore, breathing, are separated into three levels or stories: abdominal, thoracic and clavicular. Inhalation must start in the low abdomen; this means that air must get to the base of our lungs. Then we continue to fill the “second floor” (our chest) with air. Lastly, we raise our chin to raise the clavicules and the first ribs and thus fill the “third floor” with oxygen. Depending on our oxygen needs, we use the corresponding type of breathing.
- Breathe deeply and let the air fill your lower abdomen completely, as if it were a balloon being inflated.
- Continue raising your arms and feel the air going up, filling your lungs completely.
- Next, bend down forward slowly while you exhale. Fell how your lungs and abdomen become empty and your abdomen gets in again.
- Breathing slowly and deeply propitiates a calm and serene state of mind.