Breathing Right for Longer Life
The importance of correct breathing cannot be overstated. Breathing is responsible for over 99 percent of your entire oxygen and energy supply. Correct breathing not only provides ample oxygen to your lungs for long-term holistic health, but also nourishes your body in the form of internal vital life energy, known as qi. This life-giving energy is responsible for the growth and rejuvenation of your body cells and organs by supplying them with oxygen and nutrients.
Poor breathing leads to chronic maladies, such as allergies, anxiety, asthma, depression, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, impaired heart conditions, obesity, sleep deprivation, and stress, among others. As a matter of fact, all diseases are caused or worsened by poor breathing.
Remember, breath is life. Without food and water, you can still survive a while, but without breath you die in minutes. Optimum breath is correct breathing.
Unfortunately, the average people reach their peak respiratory function and lung capacity in their mid 20s. Then their respiratory capacity begins to decline by as much as 10 to 20 percent for every decade of life!
To enhance your correct breathing, learn diaphragm breathing.
Consciously change your breathing pattern. Use your diaphragm to breathe. If you place one hand on your breastbone, feeling that it is raised, with the other hand above your waist, feeling the diaphragm muscle moving up and down, then you are practicing diaphragm breathing correctly. When you put your hand on your tummy, you feel it expanding upwards when you breathe in. When you breathe in correctly, the air fills up the lower parts of your lungs first and then goes upwards. When you breathe out, your chest pushes out your breath and your tummy then deflates and lowers again.
This is how you do your diaphragm breathing:
Begin your slow exhalation through your nose.
Contract your abdomen to empty your lungs.
Begin your slow inhalation and simultaneously make your belly bulge out.
Continuing your slow inhalation, now, slightly contract your abdomen and simultaneously lift your chest and hold.
Continue your slow inhalation, and slowly raise your shoulders. This allows the air to enter fully your lungs to attain the complete breath.
Retain your breath with your shoulders slightly raised for a count of 5.
Very slowly exhale the air.
Repeat the process.
Learn to slowly prolong your breath, especially your exhalation. Relax your chest and diaphragm muscle, so that you can extend your exhalation, making your breathing out complete.
To prolong your exhalation, count “one-and-two-and-three” as you breathe in and breathe out. Make sure that they become balanced. Once you have mastered that, then try to make your breathing out a little longer than your breathing in.
Correct breathing is developing your awareness of good posture at all times.