Diaphragmatic Breathing is a relaxing breathing technique in which you breathe deep into your belly, focusing on the sensations of rising and falling as you do so. It’s a powerful technique designed to reduce stress in the moment—lowering your heart rate, reducing muscular tension and giving you something to focus on.
It’s also great to practice Diaphragmatic Breathing outside of high-pressure situations to create an imprint on your nervous system so that you have access to the “rest and digest” state when you need it—for example, in competition or any time you want to bring down your level of autonomic arousal. We spend our days locked in sympathetic overdrive and diaphragmatic breathing can be a fast and effective way to change your state.
Try to keep your ribcage soft and fairly still. Most of the movement should be happening at your belly. Let your tummy go soft. And allow your breaths flow smoothly from one to the next, focusing on the gentle expansion at the sides, back, and front of your belly on the inhalation, and the smooth release on the exhalation. It should feel comfortable and refreshing, never forced or strained.
BENEFITS OF DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
- Triggers a state of rest and relaxation.
- Reduces muscular tension.
- Alleviates neck and back pain.
- Clears your mind.
- Reduces heart rate.
- Strengthens the diaphragm.
- Deepens the breath.
- Reduces stress.
- Block (optional)
- You can practice Diaphragmatic Breathing standing, sitting or lying on your back. Ensure that you are comfortable, stable and well-supported.