Now even deeper.
Take your time, don’t rush, and repeat once more. Great! Repeat it 5 more times.
How do you feel with a bit more oxygen going around?
If the answer is yes, great. That is precisely what we are looking for. If the answer is no, then my friend, you are in trouble.
Look around and you will see tense people, their diaphragms squished due to poor posture, tons of people breathing into the top of their chest and not down into their bellies (caused by various factors).
I see it so often. In fact, 9 times out of 10, right in the first personal training session, I ask my client to perform exercises, so they will be more mindful of their breath.
If you breathe properly you recruit your abdominals properly, therefore you are more stable and strong right away. More oxygen gets into your lungs and less effort is expended to get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, making you a happier person without taking any magic pill.
There are many ways to help you do this: take a yoga or Pilates class, go for a walk, meditate, or just pay attention to your breathing pattern.
Look at little kids and see how they breathe: belly in and belly out. The chest only moves when in distress, because chest breathing is accessory, and is linked to life or death situations. Therefore if you breath only into your upper chest, unconsciously you are telling your brain that extreme stress is happening and your defense systems are activated, producing adrenaline and cortisol non-stop. And the last thing that you need is more unnecessary stress.
When you just breathe into your chest, only one third of your lung capacity is being used; only the top third is being engaged. The diaphragm, the muscle that is designed specially to do this work, activates the other 2/3’s.
Now let’s repeat: breathe in = belly out, breathe out = belly in. Leave your chest alone and avoid moving it. Guaranteed you will feel more relaxed, more grounded and ready to face the world!