We must have heard it at some point, that we need to breathe out of our diaphragms. Though most of us generally nod our heads in agreement, and try to do it, we have no clue about the right breathing habits. Despite being absolutely crucial to our well-being, we find it difficult to practise it.
What does it mean?
Diaphragmatic breathing differs from normal or thoracic breathing, which comparatively is shallow breathing. Once the diaphragm contracts, it moves lower and causes the chest cavity to enlarge, thereby reducing the pressure inside our lungs. This allows us to inhale and take deeper breaths. With such conscientious deep breathing more oxygen begins to flow throughout our bodies.
Need for right breathing habits:
Newborns can breathe through their diaphragms. As they grow up, they start to forget how to use their diaphragms and start breathing through their chest and neck.
As adults, the muscles of our neck and chest works instead of our diaphragms. The issue with breathing out of the chest and neck is that it creates more pressure on the muscles of that areas.
This causes shoulder tension and decreases the volume of each inhalation. This is because we are not using the strong muscle of our diaphragm, thus, we are not getting as much oxygen as we ideally could.
Benefits of diaphragmatic breathing:
- It soothes the nerves and relaxes the body and mind, as it lowers the cortisol levels. Hence, it is highly recommended during yoga practices or meditation.
- It lowers your heart rate as well as your blood pressure.
- It helps you cope with any kind of stress or even PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).
- It improves your core muscle stability and your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.
How to breathe through your diaphragm?
Despite its obvious benefits, it is not an easy task to breathe through your diaphragm, and needs some practice. In order to activate your diaphragm, you should take deep breaths out of your nose.
Diaphragmatic breathing is extremely propitious for your entire body. All meditation and relaxation techniques are based on it. It ensures your holistic well-being.