The Still Mind

Our world observed from stillness

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Abdominal Breathing

What is Abdominal Breathing?
It is safe to say that the majority of people are all familiar with the respiratory activity known as breathing. However, most carry it out constantly at less than perfect efficiency, leaving those that don’t know about enhanced ways of breathing, inhaling and exhaling at a considerably diminished capacity. Abdominal Breathing is actually not a new thing for your body. You’ve done it before; while you were still in the womb and for the early part of your childhood. The stomach would pump in and out to facilitate the exchange of blood and nutrients through the umbilical cord, as the lungs were still in development and also could not respire for lack of air. After you were born, the abdomen was largely instrumental in the breathing process, but later the chest took over, and breathing became shallow. Thus, Abdominal Breathing is also referred to as “Return to Childhood Breathing” as well as “Deep Breathing.” (Deep breathing can be done with the chest as well, however, a key difference is in the unique effects of abdominal breathing on the body, which I will discuss in the following post). It may seem counter-intuitive to most, for we know that the ribs and the chest in general are made to expand and contract with each inhalation and exhalation. However, for deep, fulfilling breathing to take place, the diaphragm must be brought into the equation. Continue reading