Breathing… we do it all day, every day, without even realizing it.
While our bodies (thankfully) know how to regulate our breathing automatically, there are many benefits to intentionally connecting with our breath and breathing intentionally with our diaphragm.
Also called belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing is the practice of breathing using your diaphragm, a large muscle located at the base of your lungs, rather than with your chest. While this form of breathing comes naturally to many of us as infants, it is something that we tend to outgrow in our adult life.
Think about it– when you see a baby breathing, you often see its belly rise and fall. This is not the case in most adults. Rather in our adult lives, whether we are aware of it or not, most of us rely on our chests to breathe, rather than our diaphragm muscle. This means that we are only using our lungs at a part of our capacity, and are therefore not breathing as effectively as we could be.
While this diaphragmatic breathing might feel strange at first, with practice it will become more natural. Relearning how to breathe with our diaphragms can be beneficial not only for our physical health but also for our emotional and physical health.
You can practice diaphragmatic breathing while sitting; however, it is often easier to determine whether or not you are breathing with your diaphragm while lying down first. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing might feel strange at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.
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