Deep Breathing For Yoga Or Meditation
Deep breathing is a great way of promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Yoga, meditation, martial arts, and trained voice are some disciplines that recognize the importance and effectiveness of deep breathing. Use the following deep breathing technique during any of the above activites or whenever you want to relax and energize your body.
It is natural to breathe using the diaphragm or lower abdomen. If you watch babies, you will see that they breathe this way. As we get older, stress and inactivity cause us to draw shorter, shallower breaths. These short breaths use only the upper chest instead of the lower abdomen. In times of stress the abdominal muscles tense up and make it almost impossible to breathe deeply and naturally. Deep breathing, however, transports more oxygen through our blood and to our brain, increasing and improving physical and mental performance. As we get older it becomes more and more important to breath correctly. Practice deep breathing whenever you have a chance, if you are lucky, it will become a habit and begin to happen naturally. One note of caution - at first you may experience spells of dizziness due to the initial shock of increased oxygen intake during deep breathing exercises. You may want to sit on the floor or in a chair during your first practice sessions.
A short breathing exercise:
Close your eyes, and hold your hands over your lower abdomen. Breath in deeply through your nose while you slowly count to 4. Feel your belly push out on your hands. Let the air in your abdomen expand your belly without any muscle tension. Breathe out through your mouth, feeling your hands moving back into your body.
Repeat this pattern until you feel peaceful, calm, and relaxed.
You may find it helpful to play calming and relaxing music during this exercise.
About the Author: Mark Altman is the webmaster of http://www.soundsleeping.com sleep-aids and relaxing music. Music that is ideal for yoga, meditation, or tai-chi.