The deep abdominal breath, also known as diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, is one of the best stress reducing techniques there this. As adults we often develop slightly abnormal ways of breathing. This can be due to our body taking on strained or irregular postures as result of daily and a life time of emotion and physical stresses. Sometimes we start to breath into the top of our chests using muscles around the shoulders and neck, shallow breathing, holding our breath in, holding our breath out, all of these can be a result of stress, and in turn cause us stress. This can often lead to a vicious cycle.
We are stressed so we restrict our breath = Our breath is restricted so we feel stressed
The deep abdominal breath can take us back to our most natural and effective way to breath. If you look at babies and animals, you will see they are breathing fully with their whole bodies. You will see an easy rise and fall of their relaxed bellies. This way of breathing is the most effective way to bring blood and oxygen to our brain and bodies and strengthening the diaphragm. A regular practice of the deep abdominal breath can bring us back home to ourselves and our own true nature to be calm and happy. So stop holding your breath, stop holding your belly, allow yourself to breath deeply like a happy Buddha with a big round belly and enjoy! Here is an easy way to get you started.
Deep Abdominal Breath
1. Lie on the floor, bending the legs so that the knees are pointing to the ceiling and the soles of the feet are on the floor, hip width apart.
2. Place one hand on the heart centre (the centre of the chest) and the other on the belly.
3.Close the eyes. Inhale into the lower belly, feel the hand on your belly rising, exhale feel the hand falling.
4. The hand on the heart should remain soft and still. Simply watch the rise and fall of the hand on the belly (lower abdomen)
5. Then try counting the breath backwards from 7 -1. Inhale think 7, exhale think 7, inhale 6, exhale 6 and so on.
6. When you complete the counts, allow the breath to return to normal. Roll to the side and use the hands to make your way up to sitting. Om Shanti! (peace)
Practice with Hana's Recording Below!