Deep Breathing

Deep Breathing is the process of expanding the abdomen, rather than the chest when breathing.  This is considered a fuller, healthier way to breathe.  The more air you are able to take in, the more air that circulates throughout your body.  If you’re pregnant, this means that the amount of oxygen that crosses the placenta and that your baby receives is increased as well.  

Practice:  For the next few days complete this exercise each time you encounter a stressful situation.

Begin this practice by sitting comfortably in a chair with both feet on the floor.  If at any time during this exercise you feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop immediately and remain seated until those feelings have passed.  If you are pregnant, consult with your practitioner before beginning this exercise.

Sit up straight.  Place one hand just below your navel and place the other on your chest.  With your mouth closed, inhale through your nose, allowing the air to fill your abdomen.  If you are unable to see or feel this movement, imagine that it is taking place. 

Now purse your lips and slowly exhale through your mouth.  Your exhalation should be twice as long as your inhalation.

If your chest is rising instead of your abdomen, refocus and keep trying.
With each deep breath you should feel more relaxed.  Take note of how you feel physically before, during, and after this exercise.  Also note how your stress level changed throughout this exercise.

For the best results, record your findings and review your progress over time.

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