THE POWER OF BELLY BREATHING

22. Feb 2017 11:00

Abdominal breathing (also deep breathing, diaphragmatic or belly breathing) is a simple way to improve the quality of your life. The majority of people are so called 'chest breathers' and only use one-third of their lung capacity which can result in poor health. So instead of breathing from the chest where the air intake is slow, try diaphragmatic breathing which is one of the simplest yet most effective ways of improving one's health (with practically no time investment and definitely no costs). Deep breathing is one of the first pranayama (breath control) techniques we learn in yoga. 

Here are the top 10 benefits to regularly practicing abdominal breathing:

1.  It reduces negative stress by lowering cortisol (stress hormone)

2.  Boosts energy

3.  Improves quality of sleep

4.  Slows the aging process and increases vitality

5.  Improves the circulatory system

6.  Strengthens immune system

7.  Improves concentration and mental focus

8.  Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL)

9.  Improves your mood by elevating serotonin (the 'feel good' hormone)

10.  It helps reduce cravings for junk food.

Technique

It can be practiced lying down (on your back, belly or any other position). With the inhalation, you allow your belly to expand and as you exhale, slowly and gently release the breath. 

To start, sit comfortably, close your eyes and inhale slowly (your belly should expand while you inhale). Then hold your breath for 4 to 10 seconds. Then slowly exhale making sure you push the air out using your belly. Repeat the cycle (10 times, if possible). We suggest you practice this type of breathing first thing in the morning and before you go to bed. At OnlineGym4me, you can find amazing yoga teachers that will guide you through the diaphragmatic breath, so feel free to join them and improve your life with this healthy habit.


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