You need to relax? Four exercises to learn to perform a complete breath
It seems that breathing is the easiest thing in the world, after all we all do it every day, right? But really breathing well is not as simple as it may seem. Normally, unless we deliberately decide to work our breathing, we inhale and exhale automatically without being aware of it.
But we can train our breathing to be able to control it and so that, in certain situations, such as practicing sport or when we want to relax, it is more effective. We explain four exercises you can do to learn to perform a complete breath.
The complete breath is one in which we use all the muscles that are involved in this process correctly . It involves the union of the three types of breathing that we can perform: clavicular, intercostal and abdominal.
These are the exercises you must do to identify each type of breathing.
- Clavicular Breathing: It is a very superficial breathing and typical of people who suffer anxiety. We lay on our backs on the floor and placed one of our hands on the chest and another on our abdomen. We inhale the air and stop it before it reaches our chest, so that the hand on it does not move (of course, not the one on the belly). We will only do this exercise to know how this type of breathing is, because it can make us hyperventilate.
- Intercostal breathing: We lie on our back and place our hands on both sides of the rib cage, above the ribs. When inhaling, we must send the air to that area, without directing it towards the stomach (the placement of the hands makes it very easy to “direct” the air to a specific place, seriously try it).We can place one hand on the chest and the other on one side of our ribs: what we are looking for is to notice how the rib cage rises and “swells” when we inhale, and how it lowers and “deflates” when we release the air.
- Diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing: it is the most common of all, which we usually do more easily. We put a hand on the belly and directed the air towards it: when we breathe in, we notice how the hand rises upwards at the same time that the belly swells, and how it descends when the air expels. It is important that we keep the abdominal muscles relaxed while we breathe.
And, to finish, the exercise to make a complete breathing, that unites the previous three:
- We lie on our back with one hand on our chest and the other on our abdomen. We begin to inhale and the first thing we have to do is direct the air to our abdomen, then to the thoracic and finally to the clavicle (it is important that we keep that order). When we exhale the air, we follow the reverse order: we first expel the one of the clavicular area, then the one of the thoracic zone and we end with the zone of the belly.
This type of complete breathing is very useful when it comes to relax, to control situations of stress or anxiety or simply to rest and feel better. Do you dare to try it?