Effective Breathing For Better Vitality

Posted by: Jeanette |

September 14, 2010 |

Comments (10)


Many people don’t recognize how enjoyable deep breathing can be. They are either completely unconscious about their breath, or they breathe mechanically because they are trying too hard to do it right. They may see it as a part of their exercise program, but not necessarily something to incorporate into their daily life. Breathing feels good just for its own sake because it affirms and strengthens the life force that flows through us and that IS us. We feel more energetically uplifted as we tune into our breath and allow it to flow more freely through us. The more we breathe in the gift of life the more alive we feel.

Better Breathing for Seniors

Notice How You Breathe
and Expand Your Awareness

One of the best ways to expand our awareness and become more attentive is through proper, enjoyable, deep breathing. Proper breathing energizes and cleanses the body, balances the emotions and calms the mind. With practice, effective breathing helps us discover our sources of tension and become more relaxed.

Unfortunately, most people have forgotten how to breathe correctly. They take shallow breaths into their chest, making little use of their diaphragm. Many people habitually lift their shoulders or tighten their abdominal muscles when they inhale. In this way, only the top of the lungs is used and a very limited amount of oxygen is taken in, resulting in low vitality and less resistance to illness.

Seniors Learning To Breathe Well Like a Baby

Watch A Healthy Baby Sleeping
Good breathing involves using our lung capacity for a deep inhalation. This causes the abdomen to expand and the diaphragm to move down, massaging the abdominal organs. Then, after a brief retention of the air, there is a long and complete exhalation. This causes the abdomen to contract and the diaphragm to move up, massaging the heart. Watch a healthy baby sleeping, and you will observe this proper breathing technique–our most natural way of breathing.

It is best to inhale through your nose because the air is then warmed and filtered which helps to prevent foreign particles from getting into your lungs. Surprising to many, the exhalation phase of the breath cycle is as important as the inhalation, as it helps with detoxification.

Increase Your Life Force Energy
In yoga, the exhalation is done through the nose to support increased intake of prana, life force energy. The yogic point of view is that prana is able to reach the nervous system and the brain more effectively by inhaling and exhaling through the nose. However, in many other forms of exercise the exhale is done through the mouth to help strengthen the core muscles and help energize and replenish the body overall.

Either way, the route of your exhale is not as important as the length of it. When you exhale completely, more toxins are released from your body, and you can then inhale much more nourishing oxygen. Your increased oxygen intake will greatly improving your overall well-being by supporting the function of all of your vital organs, increasing your circulation and strengthening your immune system.

Calm Your Mind
One suggestion for developing better breathing habits is to visualize a wave of oxygen flowing down to your feet on the inhalation, and to feel tension flowing out of your body on the exhale. For the best release of stress and toxins, allow the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation. Deep breathing revitalizes your body and helps to calm your mind, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed, while the practice of positive thinking and meditation gives you increased clarity, mental power and concentration.

Have you taken a deep breath today?

Here’s one of my favorite simple breathing exercises:
(It’s a great way to feel more relaxed and at ease.)

  1. Sit comfortably in your chair and begin to notice how you are breathing in this moment. Don’t judge it or try to change it…just become aware of your breath. Observe your in-breath and out-breath for 3-5 cycles.
  2. Next, inhale deeply through your nose and direct the air down into your lower belly and then up into your chest. Pause briefly, then exhale through your mouth. Pause briefly again. Repeat for 3-5 cycles. Allow your breathing to be relaxed, not forced.
  3. Now continue breathing deeply as in #2, and explore what it feels like to slightly lengthen the pauses. Tune into your pauses and appreciate this moment of stillness and quiet for yourself. Do this for 3-5 cycles.
  4. Lastly, with your next out-breath, exhale all of the air out of your lungs, and keep exhaling until no more air comes out. Pause again, even longer than before, but not to the point of discomfort. Then take in another deep, satisfying breath. Notice how eager your body is to breathe in deeply, after this longer exhale. Repeat this for 3-5 cycles. You are cleansing and nourishing your body and mind and spirit!

Once you become familiar with these steps, then you may enjoy doing this with your eyes closed, either seated or lying down.

What did you experience or notice while doing this breathing exercise? How did you feel before you started and how do you feel afterward? Let us know by leaving a reply below. Here’s to your health!

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10 Responses to “Effective Breathing For Better Vitality”

  1. Pursed lip exercises literaly saved my husband’s life! His COPD was so bad that his doctor finally told him to perform belly breathing 5 times a day. After 12 days, his breathing really improved, and 8 weeks later he’s breathing good enough to enjoy his gardening and get outdoors again.

  2. Effie says:

    Thank you for the informative post on my respiratory issues. I hope I can find some relief soon.

  3. Arline Hanoharo says:

    Your post is much interesting. Thank you for your great work!

  4. Brooks Raminez says:

    I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here for free for your online readers. Can you tell us which blog platform you are using?

  5. Daniel says:

    great post, thanks for sharing

  6. Lauren says:

    I was feeling down and somewhat overwhelmed with stuff in my life that’s going on right now. I’m glad that I decided to try this breathing exercise. I liked it so much I tried it once with my eyes open and once with my eyes closed. I’m feeling calmer and more relaxed now. I’ll use this again, I’m sure. Thanks Jeanette. Also, nice website!

    • Jeanette says:

      Hi Lauren. Thanks for chiming in and letting me know about your results. I can relate. Just yesterday, I was stuck in jam packed traffic– so many people were trying to get to the Giants parade in San Francisco. It was a frustrating commute to say the least, and I decided to do this easy breathing exercise to calm my nerves. I was able able to transform my anxiety into ease in a very short time. It is satisfying to hear that it has helped you too. And that you plan on using it again in the future! All the best.

  7. Val says:

    Hi Jeanette, This exercise helped me to notice how I was breathing. It also helped me to relax, to enjoy my breathing, to feel more vitalized, refreshed and more pleasantly energized. I feel more present and alert. Thanks for the fun adventure.

    • Jeanette says:

      Hi Val, Good for you for taking time to do this simple but powerful breath exercise. I’m glad that it helped you feel uplifted. It comes in handy during times of stress or when you’re wanting a natural boost. I’ve found that the effects improve with practice. Take care.

“If we do not know what wind we are steering for, no wind is favorable.”  ~Seneca

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