Diaphragm Breathing Techniques are at the Heart of Health + Well-being
Deep Breathing Techniques, Lesson 2 of 6
Breathing well can positively impact your health and well-being more than any other single exercise. However, there are many misconceptions about breathing–most of which start with the belief that the lungs are responsible for oxygenating the body. In actuality, the diaphragm is the engine of the breathing cycle.
In this article, we’ll consider how we can enhance breathing through techniques that target the diaphragm. Once you have some practice, you can then move on to the following three articles that will further help you develop a whole-body, deep breathing for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Breathing Well Is the Single Best Exercise You Can Do for a Healthy Body + a Healthy Mind
Deep Breathing Techniques, Lesson 1 of 6
Breathing exercises can be extremely versatile. They can be used in many ways: to open up the insides of your body, increase blood flow and cultivate life-force energy, and as an internal organ massage, doorway into meditation and vehicle for making the body conscious. One of the most practical functions of deep breathing techniques is releasing the nerves to prepare your body for your exercise, which will optimise your training results. Even if you do not have a regular exercise practice, you can use deep breathing techniques just a few minutes each day to start improving your current state of health.
In this how-to video, I’ll show you techniques for deep breathing into your kidneys. In Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are regarded as the door to your life-force energy. If you feel tired or depleted, a few minutes of kidney breathing can be revitalising, and help you clear any stagnant or blocked qi.
I’ve written a lot about deep breathing techniques and offered several guided breathing practice sessions because we do it all day, every day. Learning how to breathe well therefore gives you the power to shift your state of mind and reinvigorate your body’s systems whenever you choose.
However, breathing well can go far beyond a little relaxation and peace of mind, and take health and well-being to the next level by boosting the results of any exercise programme. Starting with a few minutes of rhythmic, smooth and measured breathing can warm up the body and oxygenate the cells that comprise your muscles. While ending an exercise session by bringing your focus back to deep breathing can help you cool down and transit into your daily activities with a calm state of mind. Maintaining deep, diaphragm breathing throughout exercise helps generate relaxed power and stamina.
Tai Chi’s soft, yielding nature makes it an ideal exercise for letting go of stress and tension in body, mind and qi. In this how-to video, I’ll take you through a guided practice session using Tai Chi’s Beginning Form to help you release your nerves, reduce stress and increase relaxations.