Although breathing is something that we are doing all the time many of us are actually doing it ineffectively. Did you know that almost 80% of what we exhale are toxins being released from the body?
The average person only uses a small percentage of their lung capacity on a daily basis which doesn’t allow for optimal health or function. Even those who are healthy, working at full exercise intensity, are only using around 70% of their possible lung capacity. Below we have included some simple breathing exercises to help you achieve “Full Breathing.”
Full breathing techniques can help to calm the nervous system, slow the heart rate and stabilize blood pressure. This type of breathing is a core part of many meditation and yoga practices as it promotes relaxation. Of all of the available relaxation methods, full breathing exercises are the easiest and the most portable - you can literally do them anywhere, anytime.
(Interested in learning meditation techniques? Read our article Meditation for Beginners)
‘Full breathing’ encourages a full oxygen exchange and the removal of toxins making it a natural and powerful detoxifier for the human body. On the contrast, shallow breathing can limit the diaphragm’s range of motion restricting the lowest part of the lungs to oxygenated air. This can leave you feeling short of breath and can even contribute to anxiety.
Full Breathing Techniques
Before starting the breathing techniques, adopt a comfortable sitting position and place the tip of your tongue right behind your top front teeth.
- 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
This technique is helpful for assisting you to relax and can be used to help fall asleep. The 4-7-8 method involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds and exhaling for 8 seconds.
Click Here for a guided video that walks you through the 4-7-8 breathing technique:
- 1-4-2 Breathing Technique
This type of breathing helps to invigorate and bring energy into your body while reducing stress levels.
Similar to the 4-7-8 technique the 1-4-2 technique describes the ratio length of time in which you breathe in, hold the breath and then exhale. For instance, if you inhale for 6 seconds you will hold for 24 seconds and exhale for 12 seconds. Peak-performance expert Tony Robbins recommends this style of full breathing to be performed three times a day.
Like most skills, the more you practice full breathing exercises the quicker your body will be able to relax and adapt when you need it most. Try to practice these techniques daily and use them in your everyday life to help overcome stressors and distractions.
The Woodhouse Day Spa of North Bethesda has gone online to continue to support your wellness journey and to keep you connected while in a state of isolation. To join us click here.