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Exercises To Improve Your Breathing

Exercises To Improve Your Breathing

VideoJug shows you how to improve your breathing through a series of yoga techniques. But improving your breathing with yoga, you can improve your body's vitality greatly, so watch this video on exercise regimes to improve your breathing.

Step 1: You will need

  • comfortable clothing
  • yoga mat
  • 2 blankets
  • bare feet

Step 2: Supine complete breath

Lie down on your back on the yoga mat. To open and lift your chest have a folded blanket vertically placed along your spine and another under your head. If you are flexible you can have your legs bent so that your knees are on the floor and the soles of your feet are touching. Allow your head, hands, arms and legs to rest into the floor. They should feel heavy on the ground but without being pushed into the floor. Close your eyes to help with relaxation if you want to. Slowly begin to breathe through your nose and at the same time gently push out your stomach. It should be a smooth movement which will help to guide the air to the lower parts of the lungs. Now, begin to slowly breathe out through your nose. At the same time you should draw your abdomen in as much as possible. This helps to empty the air from the abdomen. Slowly continue this pattern at a steady rhythm for about a minute. Push-the-belly-out-when-you-breathe-in; draw-the-belly-in-as-you-breathe-out.

This is the correct way to breathe, although in this exercise it is slightly more exaggerated than in normal, regular breathing.

Step 3:

Once you are familiar with the breathing technique begin the inhalation through your nose, gently expanding your stomach again. This time try to open your chest as much as possible and breathe all the way up to your collar bones. This allows the air to enter the upper area of the lungs. Then, exhale and draw in your stomach muscles, relax your shoulders and chest. Repeat the cycle again. If you find it's difficult to maintain this pattern, just breathe normally but focus on getting the movement right. You should practice this for 2-3 minutes. As well as relaxing you, it is a great way to prepare for meditation.

Step 4: Seated complete breath

Once you have mastered the technique of the complete breath, you can practise it in a seated position. Place one or two folded blankets under your buttocks for support. This will help to elevate your spine and open your chest. If you feel comfortable you can close your eyes. Try chanting the breathing pattern in your head. Push-the-belly-out-when-you- breathe-in; draw-the-belly-in-as-you-breathe-out. If your legs become uncomfortable, stretch them out in front you, circle your ankles and then come back into the cross legged position to continue the breathing exercise. Practice for 2-5 minutes. Remember the aim is to fill your lungs and abdomen with air and then release the air from your body.

Step 5: Standing complete breath

We are now going to try the complete breath in a standing posture. Standing on the mat with your feet close together, take a deep breathe in through your nose and at the same time raise your arms to the sides, and above your head so that your hands meet in prayer position. On an exhale, bring your hands down along the centre line of your body, still in prayer position and continue the cycle. To encourage a deeper inhalation rise up on your toes as you inhale. Repeat this five times whichever way is comfortable for you.

Proper breathing calms the mind, relieves stress and nourishes the body. Correct breathing is not only essential when practising yoga postures but also during meditation and for everyday life. Focus on how you breathe with the aim of incorporating correct breathing into your daily routine. With practice it will become second nature to you.