8 Breathing Exercises for a Healthy Life

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Breathing Exercises for a Healthy Life

Following our article about the complete yoga breathing, we will share eight breathing exercises for a healthy life. Learn this exercises and put them into practice.

1.      THE CLEANSING BREATH

The Yogis have a favorite form of breathing which they practice when they feel the necessity of ventilating and cleansing the lungs. They conclude many of their other breathing exercises with this breath.

This Cleansing Breath ventilates and cleanses the lungs, stimulates the cells and gives a general tone to the respiratory organs. Besides this effect, it greatly refreshes the entire system.

  • Inhale a complete breath
  • Retain the air a few seconds
  • Pucker up the lips as if for a whistle (but do not swell out the cheeks), then exhale a little air through the opening, with considerable vigor.
  • Stop for a moment, retaining the air, and then exhale a little more air.
  • Repeat until the air is completely exhaled. Remember to use a considerable strength in exhaling the air through the opening in the lips.

This exercise should be practiced until it can be performed naturally and quickly.

ocean breathe

2.      THE NERVE VITALIZING BREATH

The purpose of this exercise is to stimulate the Nervous System, develop nerve force, energy and vitality. This practice brings a stimulating pressure on important nerve centers, which in turn stimulate and energize the entire nervous system, and send an increased flow of nerve force to all parts of the body.

  • Stand straight
  • Inhale a Complete Breath
  • Retain the air
  • Extend the arms straight in front of you, letting them be somewhat limp and relaxed, with only sufficient nerve force to hold them out
  • Slowly draw the hands back toward the shoulders, gradually contracting the muscles and putting energy into them. When they reach the shoulders, the fists will be so tightly clenched that you will feel a trembling motion.
  • Then, keeping the muscles tense, push the fists slowly out, and then draw them back rapidly (still strained) several times
  • Exhale vigorously through the mouth
  • End the exercise with The Cleansing Breath

The efficiency of this practice depends greatly upon the speed of the drawing back of the fists, and the tension of the muscles, and, of course, upon the full lungs.

3.      THE RETAINED BREATH

The retained breath is a vital exercise which tends to strengthen and develop the respiratory muscles and the lungs. An occasional holding of the breath purifies the air which has remained in the lungs from former inhalations and also oxygenates the blood. The frequent practice will also tend to expand the chest.

The exercise:

  • Stand straight
  • Inhale a Complete Breath
  • Retain the air as long as you feel comfortable
  • Exhale vigorously through the open mouth
  • End the practice with The Cleansing Breath

At first, you will be able to retain the breath only a short time, but a little practice will show a significant improvement.

breathe

4.      LUNG CELL STIMULATION

This exercise is designed to stimulate the air cells in the lungs. If you are a beginner, be careful and do not overdo it. Some may find a slight dizziness resulting from the first few trials, in which case walk around a little and discontinue the exercise for a while.

  • Stand straight, with hands at sides
  • Breathe in very slowly and gradually
  • While inhaling, gently tap the chest with the fingertips, always changing position
  • When the lungs are full, retain the breath and tap around the chest with the palms of the hands
  • Exhale
  • End the exercise with The Cleansing Breath

This exercise stimulates the whole body. Many of the air cells in the lungs become inactive because of incomplete breathing and often become almost atrophied. One who has practiced imperfect breathing for years will find it hard to stimulate all these “defective” air cells, but this exercise helps you “to bringing them to life,” and is worth practicing.

5.      RIB STRETCHING

In proper breathing, the ribs play an important part, and occasionally you should give them a little particular exercise to preserve their elasticity.

Too much standing or sitting is making the ribs more or less stiff and inelastic, and this exercise will do much to overcome this.

  • Stand straight
  • Place the hands as high up under the armpits as convenient. The thumbs are reaching toward the back, the palms on the side of the chest and the fingers to the front over the breast
  • Inhale a Complete Breath.
  • Retain the air for a short time.
  • Then gently squeeze the sides, at the same time slowly exhaling.
  • End the exercise with The Cleansing Breath

Use moderation in this exercise and do not overdo it.

6.      CHEST EXPANSION

This exercise is excellent for the purpose of restoring natural conditions and gaining chest expansion.

  1. Stand straight
  2. Inhale a Complete Breath
  3. Retain the air
  4. Extend both arms forward and bring the two clenched fists together on a level with the shoulder
  5. Then swing back the fists vigorously until the arms stand out straight sideways from the shoulders
  6. Then bring back to Position 4, and turn to Position 5. Repeat several times
  7. Exhale forcefully through the opened mouth
  8. End the exercise with The Cleansing Breath

Use moderation and do not overdo this exercise.

breeze

7.      WALKING EXERCISE

  • Walk with head up, chin drawn slightly in, shoulders back, and with measured tread
  • Inhale a Complete Breath, counting (mentally) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, one count to each step, making the inhalation extend over the eight steps
  • Exhale slowly through the nostrils, counting as before—1, and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 — one count to a step.
  • Rest between breaths, continuing walking and counting, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 7, 8, one count to a step.
  • Repeat until you begin to feel tired. Then rest for a while, and resume at pleasure.

You can repeat this exercise several times a day. Try changing this activity by retaining the breath during a 1, 2, 3, 4, count, and then exhale in an eight-step count. Practice whichever plan seems most suitable to you.

8.      MORNING EXERCISE

  • Stand straight: head up, eyes front, shoulders back, knees stiff, hands at sides
  • Raise body slowly on toes, inhaling a Complete Breath, steadily and slowly
  • Retain the breath for a few seconds, maintaining the same position
  • Slowly sink to the first position, at the same time slowly exhaling the air through the nostrils
  • End the exercise with The Cleansing Breath

Repeat several times, varying by using right leg alone, then left leg alone

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