This is a continuation of Breathing Exercises.
Lie down on a comfortable flat surface (use a mat preferably). Make sure you minimize the gap between your waist and the floor, and between the back of your neck and the floor (feel your spine lengthening). Allow yourself to relax as if you were going to fall asleep. Abandon the weight of your body to gravity and feel it merging with the floor, no tensions whatsoever. Close your eyes. Relax.
- Inhale slowly through your nose and direct the flow of air traveling from your nose to your lower abdomen (below the belly button), expanding it. Focus only on that area. Then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat a few times until you locate the air in your lower abdomen, making sure you’re not moving your chest/shoulders, the only movement happens from your stomach downwards.
- Once you’ve located the breathing on your lower abdomen, we’re going to focus on the ribcage/diaphragm area. Inhale slowly through your nose and direct the flow of air to your lower abdomen. When you can no longer fill yourself more in that area, pass the air a notch up to your mid abdomen, expanding the ribs outwards and sideways. Then breathe out through your mouth, first emptying the lower abdomen, then the mid abdomen.
- Once you’ve located the breathing on lower and mid abdomen, we’re going to focus on the chest. Inhale slowly through your nose and direct the flow of air to your lower abdomen, fill yourself up there, then let the air travel up to the mid abdomen, and finally expanding to your chest (here your shoulders will move naturally). At this point you’ll be full of air and feeling like a balloon, even with a slight pain in your rib cage (it’s normal). Breathe out through the mouth first on your lower abdomen, then on your mid abdomen and finally releasing all the air from your chest. Now you should feel like a balloon that has been shrunk and all the air sucked out.
- Repeat several times until you embed it in your daily life 🙂
See me doing it here:
Do the 3-part inhaling through the nose. Now, before exhaling, you are going to engage your abdomen muscles, contracting them, as if pushing down and out, to hold that air with pressure. You are going to breathe out opening your lips in the shape of “ooh”, jaw relaxed, and exhaling with pressure in the air, as if drawing a straight line with your air flow. Naturally, you will start releasing air from the bottom of your lungs up to the top until you run out of air. Hold that support until the very last drop of air comes out, and finally release the pressure, right afterwards.
This type of breathing is the key for your workouts, specially strength training repetition based exercises. Which is the next post: Breathing Exercises 3. Stay tuned 🙂