By EM Nutrición

breathe to relax

How are breathing exercises done?

There are many breathing exercises you can do to help you relax. The first exercise below, abdominal breathing, is easily learned and easy to do. It's best to start there if you've never done breathing exercises before. The other exercises are more advanced. All of these exercises can help you relax and relieve stress.

belly breathing

Abdominal breathing is easy to perform and is very relaxing. Try this basic exercise anytime you need to relax or relieve stress.

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Place one hand on the abdomen just below the ribs and the other hand on the chest.
  3. Take a deep breath through your nose and let your abdomen push against your hand. The chest should not move.
  4. Exhale through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel your hand sink into your abdomen and use it to expel all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing exercise between 3 and 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

Next steps

Once you have mastered abdominal breathing, it is recommended that you try one of these more advanced breathing exercises. Try all three and see which one works best for you:

  • Breathing 4-7-8
  • full breath
  • morning breath

Breathing 4-7-8

This exercise also uses abdominal breathing to help you relax. You can do this exercise sitting or lying down.

  1. To begin, place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest, just like in the abdominal breathing exercise.
  2. Take a deep, slow breath from your abdomen and silently count to 4 as you inhale.
  3. Hold your breath and count silently from 1 to 7.
  4. Breathe out completely as you silently count from 1 to 8. Try to get all the air out of your lungs by the time you reach 8.
  5. Repeat 3-7 times or until you feel calm.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

full breath

The object of complete breathing is to develop the full use of the lungs and to focus on the rhythm of your breathing. You can do it in any position. But while learning, it's best to lie on your back with your knees bent.

  1. Place your left hand on your abdomen and your right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
  2. Practice filling the lower part of your lungs by breathing in, so that your "belly" (left) hand goes up when you inhale and your "chest" hand stays still. Always inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Do this 8 to 10 times.
  3. When you have filled and emptied the lower part of your lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to your breathing: first, inhale into the lower part of your lungs as before, and then continue to inhale into the upper part of your lungs. chest. Breathe slowly and regularly. As you do this, your right hand will go up and your left hand will go down a bit as your abdomen goes down.
  4. As you exhale slowly through your mouth, make a small, sibilant sound as you lower your left hand first, then your right hand. As you exhale, feel the tension leave your body as you relax more and more.
  5. Practice breathing in and out in this way for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the movement of the abdomen and chest rises and falls like the rolling of waves.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

Practice the full breath daily for several weeks until you can do it almost anywhere. You can use it as an instant relaxation tool, anytime you need it.

Warning: Some people get dizzy the first few times they do a full breath. If you start to breathe too fast or feel lightheaded, slow down your breathing. Get up little by little.