Viver é respirar

Life in the body is a process of opening and closing of bodily functions. All bodily functions are affected by breathing. 

When the ordinary becomes unusual, problems with breathing present themselves. Breathing in and out becomes difficult.

This disturbs the chemical balance of the body and creates a problem for the human being. 

For example:

When breathing in, the arteries of the lower body dilate and when breathing out, the blood flows upwards better. If the exhalation is too shallow and short, the blood cannot flow back sufficiently from the legs and that can cause varicose veins. 

A well-built up and developed breathing technique gives well functioning diaphragms, an open, relaxed nasal passage and an optimal breathing movement that ensures sufficient oxygen and good circulation in all parts of the body as well as the removal of waste products. 

Furthermore, the cooperation of the diaphragms, the sphincter muscles and the muscle chains is intensified. 

Good breathing is based on good use of the diaphragm and an open nose. 

The diaphragm is a flat muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. It is a piston that descends when breathing in and rises when breathing out. 

When breathing in, the diaphragm moves downwards: the chest cavity is enlarged and the lungs can expand. The organs in the upper abdomen are pushed down and slightly forward. The abdominal wall rises slightly.

When breathing out, the abdominal wall descends again and the diaphragm rises. 

Practising abdominal breathing

You can do this exercise as often as you like.

  • Put your hands on your belly in the area of your navel.
  • First, without moving your hands, feel your belly under your hands.
  • Feel what the belly is doing during an in-breath and an out-breath; spend a few minutes on this without wanting to change anything. Feel your belly and feel your breath and enjoy it.
  • With an exhalation, begin to slowly contract the abdominal muscles. 
  • When you have breathed out, let go of the abdominal muscles. Do this in one go, as if you were puncturing a balloon; with one prick everything is gone. Then – very naturally – breathe in.
  • Do not try to catch your breath but let it flow inwards; your nostrils will then remain relaxed. 
  • Then slowly pull your abdominal muscles in again while breathing out. 

Sometimes your abdominal muscles may feel sore or your bowels may rumble. You will also notice that the breathing movement starts to flow better into your abdomen. Breathe in through your relaxed nose and out through your relaxed mouth.

Practise this belly breathing every now and then throughout the day; once or twice in a row is enough. 

Extending the exhalation

Breathe in, clench your teeth loosely, and contract your abdominal muscles while doing “shshshshsh” – as you breathe out. When you have exhaled, release the abdominal muscles and allow the inhalation to flow in in a relaxed manner (approximately 4-5 seconds).

Lengthen the exhalation by one second every day, starting with 3 to 15 seconds. Reducing the exhalation deacidifies the body and makes exercising more pleasant. 

Do this 3-5 times and do not force it.