Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic (Belly) Breathing

on The Inhale, these are the first things to inflate:  

 

1: Diaphragm
2: Intercostal muscles (muscles between your ribs)

3: Accessory muscles (neck, shoulders, back)

 

Exhale is the opposite.  Don’t get too caught up in it, the most important part is that the belly extends on the inhale and contracts on the exhale.  The other muscles will go along for the ride. 

 

If you notice that you breathe the opposite way, don’t worry – it is changeable!  I used to breathe the opposite way and shallow.  Just by being aware of it and changing it when you notice is the first and most important step of changing it. 

 

Breathwork Practice

Let’s try it.  You can do this laying down or sitting up.

Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly.

Your right hand should remain still, your left hand should rise and fall with the breath as we practice. 

Close your eyes. 

So we’ll inhale to the count of 4, and exhale the count of 8. This will greatly increase the relaxation response. Your job is to control the exhale so you can slowly let the breath out without running out of air.  You can use the video below for guidance.