Welcome to Part Two of our series on breath! Part One can be found here!
"By consciously making the breath deep, even and regular, one will experience a noticeable release of tension and an increased sense of relaxation and tranquility."
Whenever "proper" breathing is discussed, the respiratory diaphragm is typically mentioned. The respiratory diaphragm is like a trampoline that is connected all the way around the bottom of the ribs. As you breathe in, the trampoline pulls down into the belly section of the body and, as you exhale, it relaxes to a somewhat flatter form.
Diaphragmatic breathing is the part of a breath that pulls the diaphragm deep into the belly. Thoracic breathing opens the ribs at the middle of the ribcage (across the nipples). Clavicular breathing is high up under the shoulders and clavicles.
Okay, so why diaphragmatic breathing?
As the diaphragm pulls down into the belly:
- It pulls air into the lungs and oxygenates the body.
- It compresses the abdominal organs and intestines, which gently massages them and thus increases the movement of blood, bodily fluids, and digesting food products, while helping to excrete waste and toxins.
- Since the heart is resting on top of the diaphragm, it rides down along with it and is gently compressed and massaged by the lungs as they fill with air, thus helping the heart move blood through the body with less effort.