5 Best Types of Breathing Exercise

Breathing Exercises:

1. Abdominal Breathing:

 

Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor or lie on your back in the corpse pose. Put a cushion under your buttocks if you need more support when sitting on the floor.

Your hands may be relaxed at your sides, or you can place one hand on your abdomen to feel it rise and fall. Relax your mind and body. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, feeling your abdomen expand and rise while keeping your chest still.

As you breathe out, feel your abdomen sag. It expands the abdomen when inhaling and contracts the abdomen when exhaling. Practice this exercise for ten breaths.

Benefit: Slow, deep breathing brings air to the lower part of the lungs and exercises the diaphragm, which can greatly improve breathing capacity. Relax mind and body, massage internal organs, calm emotions and induce restful sleep.

2. Breathing of the Rib cage:

Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor or lie on your back in the corpse pose. Put a cushion under your buttocks if you need more support when sitting on the floor.

Your hands can be relaxed at your sides, or you can place your hands on the sides of your ribs to feel them expand and contract. Gently contract your abdomen. Slowly inhale through the nose into the rib cage.

Do not pull the breath deeply into the lungs, but keep it focused between the ribs. Feel the ribs expand outward and the chest open as you inhale. As you exhale, feel the ribs contract inward. Repeat five times.

Benefit: Relaxes the mind and body and strengthens the lungs.

3. Complete Breathing:

Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor or lie on your back in the corpse pose. Put a cushion under your buttocks if you need more support when sitting on the floor.

Your hands may be relaxed at your sides, or you can place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your rib cage to verify that you are breathing correctly.

Slowly inhale through the nose, feel the abdomen expand first, then the rib cage, and finally feel the air filling the upper chest.

Your abdomen will automatically crawl as the ribs move and the chest expands. Exhale slowly, emptying your lungs from top to bottom.

Your shoulders and head must remain in essentially the same position at all times; do not lift your shoulders when inhaling or lean forward when exhaling.

Your inhalation and exhalation should be from approximately the same time period. Do not hold your breath at the top or bottom of your breath, but make the transition smooth.

The inhalation is from the bottom up and the exhalation is from the top down. Repeat five times.

Benefit: This is the technique that you will probably use most often to combat the tensions and stress in your life. You can use it anywhere, anytime to calm your mind and help calm physical responses to stress: rapid heart rate and breathing, and tight muscles.

Use this technique to focus before your meditation and before practicing asanas to make them even more effective.

4. Alternative Nasal Breathing:

Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor or kneel in the Thunderbolt position. Keep the spine and neck straight, but not tense. Don’t lean forward. Put a cushion under the buttocks or knees if you need more support.

Rest your left hand on your left knee. Extend the thumb, ring finger and little finger of the right hand and bend the other two fingers in the palm of the hand.

Start by closing the right nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril for a count of 8. Then press the ring and little fingers against the left side of the nose, sealing the left nostril while holding thumb against right nostril, and keep count to 8.

Lift thumb from right side of nose, opening right nostril. Exhale slowly and completely through the right nostril for a count of 8. Inhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril, still holding the left nostril closed until a count of 8.

Cover the right nostril with your thumb. and hold to a count of 8. Release the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril for a count of 8.

Repeat the sequence five times.
Benefit: Calms and balances the mind and body, helps relaxation, improves concentration, strengthens breathing.

5. Breath Ujjayi:

Sit cross-legged on the floor or kneel in the Thunderbolt position. Keep your torso straight and don’t lean forward. Put a cushion under the buttocks or knees if you need more support.

Inhale slowly, keeping your mouth closed and partially closing or contracting the back of your throat to decrease breathing. Wait for a few seconds. Exhale, again closing or partially contracting at the back of the throat to decrease breathing.

This breathing will produce a hoarse whistle like steam coming out of a radiator. Repeat five times. As you get better at this, try to exhale longer than you inhale.

Benefit: Increases lung capacity, opens the chest, relaxes the nervous system, increases oxygen in the blood, reduces phlegm and strengthens the immune system.

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