Diaphragmatic Breathing

Equipment
Mat
Muscles

Purpose

Diaphragmatic breathing helps with overall body relaxation. It also facilitates proper coordination of core and pelvic floor muscles when performed properly. Inhalation causes lateral expansion of the rib cage and extension of the thoracic spine, which promotes good posture.

Set up

Get into a comfortable position lying on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You may place your hands on your belly or the sides of your rib cage to monitor for expansion when you inhale.

Movement

Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, and feel your belly rise toward the ceiling and your rib cage expand outward to the sides. Try to perform your inhalation over a count of 3 to 5 seconds if possible. If you can’t initially perform the breath this slowly, you can gradually increase the amount of time it takes you to inhale with practice. Then gradually release your breath out through your mouth as you notice your belly flatten toward your spine and your ribs return to their starting position. Your exhalation should also be performed over 3 to 5 seconds. Performing this exercise slowly will enhance overall body relaxation.

Tips

  • Try not to arch your low back off the floor during inhalation.
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