We don’t know how to breathe or at least we breathe badly. This statement may be surprising, but this action as banal as it is vital is, in reality, not so obvious. And yet, controlling your breathing in consciousness also means controlling your emotions and focusing on your well-being. This is what happens when you practice abdominal breathing.
On average, we breathe almost 26,000 times a day. Over a lifetime, this colossal figure is nevertheless marred by a blocking our own civilization: the stress. Our hectic lives tend to bring our jerky and sometimes cut-off breathing to the level of the rib cage. By blocking our breathing there, we only breathe halfway and do not allow the lungs to fully expand. The solution to decompress and let go: abdominal breathing.
What is abdominal breathing?
This form of breathing that passes through the belly exists naturally in humans when they are babies. By observing an infant, we see that he is standing straight, slightly arched and that he breathes through his stomach. But over time, Man settles down, becomes sedentary, uses his analytical brain and closes, thus allowing only a limited upward breath. ” Only three living beings breathe through the belly naturally: babies, puppies and fish! Abdominal breathing is then breathing borrowed from yogis which pass through the lower body and allow a greater amplitude of the lungs, explains Susan Oubari. Breathing through the belly is not that simple because it is, while inhaling, making a contraction of the diaphragm downwards to allow the ribs to widen and the belly to swell – not because it has. air but because the organs go down. When exhaling, the diaphragm relaxes, unlike the abdominals which tighten.
Why practice abdominal breathing?
Because we breathe shallowly on a daily basis, relearning to breathe is learning to evacuate stress, fears, tensions, worries. It is to calm blood pressure and decrease the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. ” It’s almost impossible to breathe only through your stomach without realizing it, quite simply because we are human beings who have to deal with pressure and stress sometimes several times a day. adopting a conscious breath by concentrating on our stomach as soon as we feel the need or to overcome a complex situation, it is to make oneself more available, to manage his emotions and to think better “ specifies our expert.
We say of the belly that it is our second brain. No wonder then that by breathing with it, we also heal our first brain. ” In addition, conscious abdominal breathing offers a message to our whole organism. We make room in the belly for our organs to loosen. As they unfold, the lungs restore amplitude to the alveoli which eventually become hard. like leather, if they are not maintained. But above all, because all around the heart, they come to massage it and this is not trivial “.
The right abdominal breathing exercises
Some sports or meditation activities use abdominal breathing as an excellent means of relaxation, self-absorption and concentration. This is the case with yoga and what are called Pranayamas, or breathing control exercises. However, abdominal breathing does not exclude chest breathing. It’s all a matter of dosage. This involves first inflating the lower abdomen and lungs, then the rest of the upper body. In his book “Learn to breathe, the secrets of yoga breathing” (ed. Marabout), François Gautier notably delivers these three types of abdominal breaths taken from universal Pranayamas:
– Elongated breathing: lying on the ground with your hands placed alongside your body, taking care to turn your palms towards the sky, the goal is to relax as much as possible. To do this, you become aware of your body by relaxing your jaws (often tightened without knowing it) and your muscles. And while listening to his breath, we breathe in by pulling in the belly and we breathe out while inflating it for ten minutes. Nothing like it to decompress.
– Cross breathing: sit cross-legged or in a lotus position, place your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on your left knee. Tilt your head forward and breathe for less than ten minutes. The belly will naturally inflate.
– Abdominal expiration: for better digestion and circulation of the blood, François Gautier recommends standing up while leaning slightly forward, legs apart to the width of the pelvis and knees bent. Then to exhale in three times while drawing in the stomach as much as possible with the help of his fists. It remains to repeat this exercise several times, spaced by long breaths of five seconds between each.
Abdominal breathing can be done consciously at any time of the day and especially when the need arises. If you don’t have room to lie down, you just have to concentrate on your breathing, place your hand on your stomach, inflate it and your lungs as much as possible by inhaling through your nose and counting up. at ten and exhale all the air from the lungs.
When to practice abdominal breathing?
Abdominal breathing will be used in different techniques to calm stress and anxiety such as yoga, sophrology or even meditation. On a daily basis, it can be practised to fight against episodes of stress, anxiety and tension. “Abdominal breathing is useful because it improves the oxygenation of the body. The quality of the breathing is better, the body is better, and if the body is better the balance of the nervous system is better, which destroys the production. of cortisol, the stress hormone. In fact, everything circulates better, we eliminate toxins more easily. The abdominal breathing will also allow better emotional stability, deep appeasement and it is good to increase the capacity of concentration “ , specifies the psychologist and coach.
What are the risks?
Abdominal breathing does not present any health risk because it is a natural and mechanical gesture, reassures the specialist. On the other hand, it would not be very pleasant in a patient who would have heart problems or in someone who would be subject. to asthmatic attacks. You should know that a baby breathes with the belly, it is while growing up, when we gain weight and the diaphragm presses on the belly that we get used to breathing through the top of the stomach.”