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The Magic of Deep Belly Breathing

" Deep breaths are like love notes to your body!"

Whenever I was stressed or scared as a child, my teachers/parents used to ask me to take long, deep breaths. I used to sit straight, scrunch up my shoulders into my ears and inhale through the nose, while pulling my belly in with all force.

Many years later, I met my first yoga teacher and he showed me how it is done. My jaw dropped in disbelief: I was doing it wrong all these years!

In deep belly breathing, one is actually supposed to inflate the belly while breathing in and not pull it in (like I did all through my life).

After just a few minutes of doing it correctly, I felt a wave of calmness over my mind, face and body!

Read on to know exactly how you can practice deep belly breathing too and the difference it can bring to your life.

What is deep belly breathing?

Deep Belly Breathing is also called Diaphragmatic breathing and involves fully engaging the stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm when breathing. Think of just inflating your belly as you breathe in.

How does it help you?

  • Reduces stress and anxiety

  • Regulates blood pressure

  • Improves oxygenation in the body

  • Increases exercise tolerance

  • Relieves tension headaches

The right technique

  • Sit with an upright spine and place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.

  • Close your eyes and mouth.

  • Inhale deeply for a count of four, making sure your belly is expanding

  • Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.

  • Continue in this way for a few breaths, or until you feel calm.

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