Learning proper breathing techniques is important for both your mind and your body.
The proper breathing technique is called diaphragmatic or horizontal breathing. To determine if you are breathing properly, lie on your back and place one hand on your chest, while the other hand is on your stomach.
When you take a deep breath in through your nostrils, notice if your stomach or chest is rising. You want your stomach to be rising when you inhale, and as you exhale, you should push your breath out while visualizing sucking your belly button into your backbone.
Your exhale is just as important as your inhale. Your exhale allows you to fully flush out any toxins, so you can breathe fresh oxygen back in. Completely emptying and refilling the lower lobes of your lungs allows for optimum oxygenation.
Practicing Your Breathing
Breathing exercises are an effective way to achieve the proper breathing technique. When performing breathing exercises, you should sit or stand very tall with your chest fully opened, engaging your core muscles. Make sure that you are not slumped over.
There are a few methods you can use to improve your breathing. Tactical breathing can be done while you are exercising.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, and out through your mouth for a count of six. Try continuing this pattern for two minutes or longer.
To practice box breathing, breathe in through your nostrils for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, breath out for five seconds, and hold again before repeating. This should be done for three minutes at various times throughout the day.
Meditation is another great way to practice your breathing techniques. Find a calm spot, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. This practice will take some time, but the benefits of meditation extend far beyond helping with your breathing. There are many positives to adding a meditation practice into your life.
If you're looking to improve your breathing through yoga or meditation, the MYX app (launching November 2019) has plenty of options for you to choose from. If you are new to yoga or meditation, our MYX coaches can guide you through a level one workout to teach you the basics.
If you have practiced yoga or meditation before and are looking to improve your skills, our fitness system offers three levels of workouts to challenge you. Regardless of the level you choose, MYX has options to help you focus on your breath and overall wellness.
Benefits of Proper Breathing
Proper breathing has many benefits for your overall health. It will help relieve anxiety, stress, and tension in the body, while also regulating our emotions. When people become anxious, they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest.
This chest or thoracic breathing can cause an upset in oxygen, resulting in increased heart rate, dizziness, and muscle tension. Taking proper, deep breaths can help to stop these feelings and allow you to react appropriately to the stress.
Along with the emotional benefits proper breathing can offer, it will provide you with physical benefits as well. Strengthening your lungs, bringing your heart rate down, and helping organs to heal are a few of the physical benefits you will experience.
Proper breathing is important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. This is why it is important for us to take the time to practice our breathing.