Relaxation breathing is effective and powerful. Use it anytime and anyplace. It relieves stress on the spot by reducing overall body tension. As you reduce the tension you carry in your body, your whole being will feel less stress.
Dr Andrew Weil says that breathing unlocks the key to self-healing. Learn how to breathe and begin here with a simple, relaxing breathing practice.
Once learned, you can use this for a lifetime of health and happiness.
With less stress you will enjoy increased physical and emotional health.
This same relaxation breathing technique is also used to begin your meditation practice. So practice this until it is easy to do and then use it anytime you think of it throughout the day. It will become a new way of breathing for you that you will want to use all the time.
We want to eliminate chronic shallow breathing, which is how we tend to breathe in the modern world. Normal breathing tends to be from the chest, shallow, rapid and uneven.
The breathing to strive for as your regular breath is this:
- Breathe deeper
- Breathe slower
- Breathe more quietly
- Breathe rhythmically
Breathe with your Stomach
Learning how to breathe with your stomach is very important. It’s called stomach breathing. Or it’s called relaxation breathing or life breathing for it is the way to breathe correctly.
The idea is that if you want to live a full life you need a full breath. We use this same type of relaxation breathing in our meditation practices here on this site.
Inhale slowly into the lower lungs.
Expand the sides, back, and front of the lower ribs.
Once lower lungs are filled, inhale more air into the upper chest. Pause briefly and hold the breath for a moment. Feel it expanding you and warming you.
Exhale air from upper chest very slowly.
Keep the lower lungs full.
Contract abdominal muscles to push all air out. Feel your stomach caving in at the end of the exhale.
Exhale remaining air.
Relax! At the end of your exhale relax your belly completely and let the inhale rush in! You will experience a rush of air and breath and energy into the belly.
Now let your belly expand as you receive this new inhale. Continue letting the inhale happen without forcing it and after your stomach is full of air your chest will expand as you near the maximum inhale. Try to extend the inhale further than you normally would.
Repeat this type of breathing as long as you can and enjoy! You will feel more energized and relaxed and be thinking much more clearly. You might feel some good intuition or creativity come after breathing like this for a while.
3 Minute Meditation
Here is a simple breathing meditation for you:
– Sit with your back straight
– Close your eyes
– Place the fingertips of your hand on the center of your chest on your breastbone
– Put some pressure on the fingertips and try to feel your heartbeat or pulse.
– Now breathe more deeply and slowly and rhythmically.
– Make the breath the same length on the inhalation as on the exhalation.
– We do this by counting the beats of our heart or our pulse.
– Breathe out and count 6 or 8 beats.
– Breathe in and count 6 or 8 beats.
– Breathe as deeply as you can.
– Squeeze out as much air on the exhale as you can.
– Allow your belly to expand on the inhalation to fill with breath and air.
– Pause at the top of the inhalation and hold your breath for a few seconds or longer if you comfortably can. Listen and feel inside for the sensation of your heartbeat.
– Breathe all the way out and all the way in.
– Feel that the stream of energy that comes with the breath comes into your heart and expands it in all directions.
– As you exhale your heart expands even further.
– Inhale what you need and exhale what you don’t need.
– Enjoy the synchronicity of breath and heartbeat!
Listen to this 3 minute audio meditation here.
Heart-focused Breathing adds your heart into your breathing practice. You will connect your heart and mind by imagining your breath is flowing into and out of your heart in a rhythmic manner. There’s an audio practice on this page you can do.