Deep Breathing for Relaxation

Deep breathing is a method of relaxation that removes tension from your body. It can be done practically anywhere. Breath is life, but we also have great voluntary control over our breathing. The key to our energy system is in the diaphragm: a strong sheet of muscle attached to the bottom of the ribs, separating the chest from the abdomen. The diaphragm acts as a piston, bringing in the oxygen and pumping out the stale air and thereby increasing the body's energy.

Technique for Belly Breathing

Lie on your back or stand or sit comfortably and place your hands on your belly. Inhale slowly and deeply, letting your abdomen expand like a balloon (your hand on your belly will feel the abdomen expanding.) Let the abdomen fall as you exhale slowly, releasing air. Inhale easily. Feel your abdomen expand again. Press the air out as you exhale and your hands will feel the belly pull in toward your back.

Tips:

  • Keeping a hand on your belly when you do this breath will help you feel the air move out on the inhalation and in on the exhalation
  • Keeping one hand on the top of the chest will help alert you to feel if you are doing chest breathing instead of abdominal breathing
  • Concentrate on keeping your facial muscles relaxed; if they feel relaxed, you will feel relaxed.
  • Do the belly breathing once or twice a day, for 5-10 minutes at a time.
  • Do the breathing technique for a minute or two as part of any breathing break