An Exercise for Learning to Breathe Correctly

An Exercise for Learning to Breathe Correctly
Man stopping for a breath

In order to feel comfortable and at ease outside, we need to have a good grasp on what’s going inside ourselves.

One of the most discomforting and disturbing things is when we are short on breath, either during physical exertion or because of asthma, emphysema or other related problems. There are a few easily done exercises that can strengthen the lungs, diaphragm and chest that require very little time and no equipment. You can even do them in your house slippers, shorts and a tank top between sessions at the computer. The majority of the exercises have been used with success for thousands of years. One is a modification that I stumbled upon when looking for a simpler and more effective way of breath control. Sometime using a float pod in a sensory deprivation environment is a great place to find your breath if you’re having trouble in noisy places.

Exchanging one star for another begins by standing in a horse stance: imagine you’re riding a horse. Your feet are shoulder width apart, your knees are slightly bent, the back is straight, the sternum is lifted, the arms are hanging relaxed by the sides and the chin is slightly tucked. This exercise can also be done while sitting on the front of a chair with the back straight and the feet flat on the floor. Pull in stomach muscles and lift the sternum.

Watching the right hand; raise the right hand/arm overhead, the wrist is loose, the fingers are pointing forward and slightly downward, reach as high as you comfortably can. Stretch the right side of the body opening the chest and separating the ribs. Put the left arm behind your back at the waist, palm out, back of the hand on the lower back. While doing that, coordinate the breath, breathing completely in through the nose as the arm goes up, and completely out as that arm goes down. The tongue should rest lightly on the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. Rolling the head straight back, gaze at the right hand. To improve your sense of balance, and increase the difficulty, begin rising up on the toes when one hand crosses in front of the chest and back down flat footed as the other hands rises. Slow the pace and coordinate the hand movement with the breath.

Next, slowly switch your hand and arm positions while breathing out through the nose or mouth. Relax completely and allow the right arm to slowly lower and the left to drift upward. Watch the upper hand lower until the hands cross at the chest, then switch your gaze and watch the other hand as it rises. When the hands cross at the chest area you should have breathed completely out and begun to breathe completely in. Don’t collapse the chest on the side that the arm is behind the back, and lengthen the side with the arm overhead. Do each side seven times.

It’s not necessary to move the head, just follow the hands with the eyes. Watch the hand going up as far as possible and then switch and watch the hand going down as far as possible. By doing that, you’ll find you get an eye exercise and a breath control exercise at the same time. After taking the photos, I realized I was looking at the camera, waiting for the flash. Don’t do as I did.

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