Breathing, like drinking water, is an organic response to fill the living body with new energy.
Many traditional practices, including yoga, taichi, qigong, and martial arts, incorporate breathing as part of their overall training regimen as both a way to channel internal energy (ki or chi) and to deepen the mind-body connection. Conscious breath control, each breath reducing fatigue and rebuilding inner energy, has long been recognized as a restoratative practice by both East and West. Power breathing is one such method for doing just that.
Power Breathing Basics
Power breathing is a controlled method of inhalation, breath-holding (or condensing for more power) and exhalation by conscious regulation of the abdominal and diaphragmatic muscles.
It is a deliberate process of creating imbalance of air pressure in the body by expanding the lower abdomen, lowering the diaphragm muscle, and holding the diaphragm at maximum contraction.
This increases lung capacity and circulation drawing more air than usual into the lungs.
How to Practice:
Sitting on the floor or in a chair.
Expand your lower belly muscles and inhale (3 seconds).
At peak belly expansion, hold your breath and the diaphragm at the lowest position (2-3 seconds).
Slowly contract the belly muscles and release the diaphragm, and exhale (6 seconds).
You may begin with a few repetitions and work up to 10-15 consecutive repetitions as you become comfortable with this breathing method.
The key is to regulate the diaphragm and increase your capacity to reduce your breathing frequency. You can attain these goals in two ways: by increasing the strength and flexibility of the diaphragm.
Doing so creates more space in the abdominal and thoracic cavities for more oxygen. A stronger and more flexible diaphragm increases blood flow to the brain and body tissue.
Excerpted from book: Power Breathing
…to be continued in PART 2
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