The better we breathe, the more we feed our body, and the benefits are numerous: balancing of the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, rebalancing the acidity of the blood…
Here are some daily breathing exercises:
“Shallow” breathing, which is done with the thorax, is an under-utilization of our respiratory system, and it penalizes the body and mind.
Conversely, “deep” abdominal breathing is a source of well-being. It is how infants breathe, but we lose it as an adult because of the stress of modern life (yet it comes back at night when we lie down). The basic exercise is easy to practice: breathe in through the nose by inflating the abdomen and exhale with the mouth by retracting the stomach to expel as much air as possible.
More technical, the “yogi breathing” consists in inhaling for at least 4 seconds and inflating first the belly (lower chest) then the upper chest. Then block the air during the same time, then exhale for the same time by emptying all the oxygen. Repeat thrice. To help you feel the movements of your belly, lie flat on your back, and put a hand on your belly. During the inhale phase, try pushing your hand with your belly. At the end, let the hand down while the belly deflates. Variation: replace the hand by a mildly heavy object.