Technique Thursdays – catch your breath

A number of times a day I go over to someone and remind them to breath…here is what I mean, deep breathing through the diaphragm (belly breathing).

Deep breathing is marked by expansion of the belly rather than the chest when breathing. There are a number of benefits over shallow breathing (through the chest alone).

-Efficient gas exchange –the bottom third of the lungs is where about two thirds of the gas exchange takes place, so oxygenation is more efficient when you use the diaphragm
– Less tension and tightness in the neck and shoulders as the muscles here can relax.
– It helps to rebalances the autonomic nervous system , reducing heart rate and breathing rate and changing from sympathetic fight or flight to parasympathetic calm and relax (in layman terms, it allows the body to relax and de-stress).
– The diaphragm contributes to good posture and core muscle strength, so needs to work properly. In fact overdeveloped abs and sucking the stomach in can hinder proper movement of the diaphragm, and promote upper chest breathing.
– It gently “massages” or moves the abdominal organs, aiding digestion and helping lymphatic drainage; much of the lymphatic system is located just below the diaphragm

The how to guide:

Step 1 – Lift your chest slightly to improve your posture

Step 2 – Relax your shoulder blades down & tuck your chin in slightly

Step 3 – If you want close your eyes and slowly push your stomach muscles out to create a slight pot belly or beer belly look

Step 4 – Now let your tummy relax back

Step 5 – Now breath In by pushing your abdominal muscles OUT

Step 6 – Breath OUT by pulling or letting your abdominal muscles IN

Step 7 – Repeat with slow easy breaths in & out.

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