From our birth till our death, a man must breathe. Breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air, during which we inhale oxygen, which we transfer from the air to the tissues, and we exhale carbon dioxide, which we expel from the body. In addition to removing carbon dioxide, we also exhale water from the body (water vapor, which is especially visible in winter). This gas exchange, known as respiration, aims to sustain life.
There is no life without breathing and that is why breathing is more important than the intake of fluids and food! During illness, especially at high temperatures, breathing speeds up. It speeds up both when running and working harder, and slows down during sleep.
Breathing exercises are tested and verified methods, which enable better breathing, and thus strengthen the lungs. Practice breathing exercises, to strengthen immunity!
Attention and awareness are necessary
Why is it important to breathe consciously? When we are aware of breathing, we can achieve a lot. Breathing techniques in yoga are called pranayama, which we could translate as control of life energy. Pranayama can be dual, either it raises energy by deep breathing and purification of the organism, or it calms the pulse, the heart rhythm and the whole body.
What did we do? We have introduced automated breathing, where we breathe without thinking. Most of the work, during the day we do routinely thinking of other things, which are not related with what we are doing at that moment. From getting up until the evening, we do most things without presence, awareness, about what and how we do. How to fix it?
Through breathing exercises to a better life
Breathing exercises are the primary step when acquiring and changing habits. When we follow the flow, everything we do the subconscious follows. If we feel comfortable in that moment, the subconscious will stimulate the production of pleasure hormones.
At such moments, the body functions normally and the immune system does not decline, because it is not under stress. The same goes for breathing! Awareness and control of breathing, have a positive effect on how we feel. Especially if we want to reduce stress, indulging in enjoying that moment and complete relaxation. Breathing exercises lead us to a better quality of life.
Breathing exercises you can start doing immediately
Starting from this moment, while you’re reading this, you can start with the exercise of controlled breathing. It’s important to concentrate on breathing and let it lead to healthier, slower, deeper breaths. You don’t have to constantly focus on breathing, just occasionally check on your breathing and adjust it accordingly, if necessary. Keep your relaxedness and awareness in check, right now, in this moment.
Do you follow the rhythm of your breathing and the amount of air you take in? Did you relax your neck and shoulders? For the transition from unconscious breathing to breathing with attention, breathing exercises are recommended, which can be done anywhere. These are the 3 best breathing exercises, which will help your body become conscious and bring good health!
Abdominal breathing exercises (diaphragmatic breathing)
Abdominal breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) is one of the exercises which our body connects to energy of nature and it balances our organism. Breathing exercise with the stomach is simple, and you should practice it often.
Here is how you do it: Lay down on your back. Place one arm on your chest and the other one on your stomach. Breath in deeply through the nose. Relax. Breath out slowly through the mouth, allowing your arm to follow the stomach indenting. Try to breathe out all the air you have in your lungs. Repeat this 3-10 times.
Abdominal breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, will introduce you safely and slowly into the technique of conscious breathing.
4 – 7 – 8 breathing
The 4 – 7 – 8 breathing technique was introduced by Dr. Andrew Weil, who declared it to be a natural way of calming the nervous system. Dr. Weil developed the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing technique as a way to literally tuck the body into a state of deep relaxation.
The purpose of this breathing technique is to reduce stress, restore balance in the body and all organs, and encourage oxygen intake. In this way, at the same time, easy and quality sleep is achieved, because the body and mind slow down. How is 4 – 7 – 8 breathing practiced?
- Place the tip of the tongue, behind the upper, front teeth, at the very end of the oral cavity, before exhaling loudly through the mouth;
- After that, close your mouth and inhale through your nose, counting to 4;
- Hold your breath as you count to 7;
- Then exhale again through your mouth, as from the first step, this time counting to 8.
All this, repeat 4 times.
The most important part of this breathing technique is air retention, because this step allows oxygen to circulate through the body, and that is exactly what relaxes you.
This breathing technique is also effective in stressful situations. Apply this exercise and you will notice calming effects.
Place your palms on your chest and focus on that part of your body. Consciously follow your breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose and expand your chest, filling your lungs with air. With the exhalation, the chest contracts. Exhalation lasts longer than inhalation. In (middle), chest breathing, air fills the central parts of the lungs, while the abdomen and shoulders remain immobile.
Chest breathing is exclusively on the nose and inhale/exhale. In this way, inhaling through the nose, chest breathing heats the air, the hairs in the nose filter the dust and so the air clean and heated comes into the airways. Thoracic breathing has a therapeutic effect and its breathing effects are:
- We calm the work of our heart and relieve the pressure on the heart;
- We refresh the blood circulation in the liver, bile, abdomen, spleen and kidneys.
In this simple and natural way, we circulate these organs and encourage their proper functioning. If the blood circulation is good, there are no toxins in our whole body and no disease can occur.
Deep, relaxed, conscious breathing is the initiator of blood circulation. We learn how to replace superficial and shallow breathing with deep and relaxed, conscious, controlled breathing, and that will return to us many times over, with good health. That is also the goal of learning proper breathing! By learning to breathe properly, we become aware and get to know our body.
Listen to your body and your Soul! Pamper yourself! Everything that makes you happy and ennobles your Soul, without harming others, allow yourself. Who knows you best if not yourself?