Most people breathe shallowly or "vertically", while deep or "horizontal" breathing is practiced only by those who specifically concentrate on this process in yoga or breathing practices. How to improve your health with proper breathing?
Correct and incorrect breathing
As you observe children, you will notice that they breathe from the belly. With age, people lose this habit and begin to breathe through the chest. This is the main mistake. The lung capacity is designed for 4-6 liters of air. During chest breathing, a person inhales only 400-500 ml, while breathing with a diaphragm - 2-3 liters.
The habit of breathing through the chest does not saturate the lungs with oxygen, leads to a weakening of the diaphragm muscles and a deterioration in posture: if the abdomen is not included in the breathing process, the pelvis and ribs begin to "tighten" with age, and the stomach falls inward.
Diaphragm breathing allows you to increase the volume of air inhaled by the lungs and improve the saturation of body cells with oxygen. This normalizes the body's work at all levels: it stabilizes blood pressure, heart function, relieves feelings of anxiety and nervousness.
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What is conscious breathing
To help your lungs breathe fully, you will have to re-learn the process. First you need to understand that the diaphragm helps in the process of "horizontal" breathing. A person does not breathe air in his stomach, but by connecting it to the breathing process, he allows him to fill his lungs to the maximum. Research has shown that practicing mindful breathing according to the 4-7-8 principle (inhale for four counts, hold for seven, and exhale for eight) allows the body to relax more quickly, improves digestion and strengthens the immune system.
To feel the work of the diaphragm, sit in a comfortable position or lie on the floor with your left hand on your chest and your right on your stomach. Feel the stomach rise and fall, while the chest remains motionless. Practicing "horizontal" breathing regularly, try to slow it down to 10 breathing cycles per minute (1 cycle - inhalation and exhalation), gradually increasing the exhalation.
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How often to practice mindful breathing
Get in the habit of paying attention to your breath several times a day. For example, take a few minutes to observe your breaths in and out in the morning before getting out of bed and in the evening before going to bed. If you can, remind yourself to "horizontal" breathing throughout the day and notice how you breathe in everyday life. This practice will help you breathe more frequently with your diaphragm, which means oxygenate your body, relieve stress and improve sleep.>