Saturday, 11 February 2012

Belly Breathing Exercises |

Belly Breathing Exercises Photo Credit woman seated image by IKO from

The way you breathe affects your whole body, mood and health. When under stress, you may experience short, shallow breaths using your shoulders rather than your diaphragm. Over time this pattern can turn into a habit, leading to symptoms such muscle tightness, elevated blood pressure and feelings of anxiety. Breathing fully and softly sends a message to your nervous system to calm down. As your muscles relax and your blood pressure decreases, you attain a sense of well-being.

Sense Your Breath

A few minutes a day doing this simple awareness exercise can help you to improve your quality of breath, reduce symptoms of stress and alleviate lower back discomfort.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your belly. Begin to sense the movement of your belly as you breathe. Don't purposefully change your breath in any way. Simply "listen" with your hands as you allow your breath to slow and your awareness to unfold. Do this for 15 to 20 breaths.

Exhale with Sound

Use sound on the exhale to help support the organs and soothe the emotions. This exercise will help you to engage areas of your lower abdomen, free the diaphragm and calm the nervous system.
Rest on your back with your knees bent and hands resting on your belly. Take a moment to sense yourself on the floor. Notice the curve of your back, the weight of your pelvis and the way your shoulders rest. When you are ready, exhale and softly draw in the part of the belly just below your navel as you make a snakelike "s-s-s" sound. At the end of your exhale pause and "listen" for the urge to inhale. Breathe in, allowing the lower belly rise, and repeat. Do this for 10 breaths.

Expand in All Directions

A full and dynamic breath has the capacity to affect your spine, pelvic floor and organs. It allows for the ribs to articulate or move in the joints they share with the spine and can produces a massage-like effect on the organs in the visceral cavity.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands on your abdomen. Notice how you receive support from the floor and the movement of your breath. As you inhale, imagine you are slowly filling a balloon. Your belly expands forward into your hands, backward toward the floor, up into your ribs, down into your pelvic floor and out to the sides. Start small and fill the balloon a bit more with each breath. Do this for 20 breaths. Rest and notice what has changed.


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