Breathing with your belly

Belly Breathing is a type of breathing exercise that helps strengthen your diaphragm, an important muscle that helps you breathe. This breathing exercise is also sometimes called diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing or abdominal breathing.

Here are some benefits this type of breathing can have:

  • It lowers your heart rate
  • It helps lower your blood pressure
  • It improves your core muscle stability.
  • It improves your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.Relaxes muscle spasm and relieves tension
  • It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.
  • It lowers your chances of injuring or wearing out your muscles.
  • It slows your rate of breathing so that it expends less energy.
  • Increases supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body
  • Releases and reduces muscular tension that eventually may cause structural problems
  • Supports muscle growth and provides energy to get things done

Belly breathing technique:

Breathing exercises such as this one should be done whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts or when you are experiencing pain.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat on the floor, your bed, or another comfortable, flat surface.
  2. Relax your shoulders.
  3. Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach.
  4. Breathe in through your nose for about two seconds. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. During this type of breathing, make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still.
  5. Purse your lips (as if you’re about to drink through a straw), press gently on your stomach, and exhale slowly for about two seconds.
  6. Repeat these steps several times for best results.
  7. You can slowly increase the time taken to breath in and out as it gets more comfortable.

The use of the hands on the chest and abdomen are only needed to help you train your breathing. Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, they are no longer needed.