Breathing Exercses Part 1 - Breath Retention
Masking is a wonderful way to help keep ourselves and others safe but it does take a toll on our lungs. What is the fix?? Deep breathing and breathing exercises!
There are many different exercises to rebuild your lung capacity and improve your diaphragm motion. Help your lungs stay clear and mobile with this simple breath exercise.
4 x 4 Count Breath - breathe in slowly and fill your lungs to the count of 4 - then exhale all the air in your lungs over another count of 4. Really concentrate on expanding your lungs to their fullest and feel them inflate laterally like a giant bellows. Work to fill them completely in 4 counts and empty them completely in 4 counts as they move in and out like the wings of a large bird slowly flapping. Practice this 5 minutes a day.
Add these optional challenges to further increase your breath capacity, lung function and diaphragm motion:Optional Challenge 1) Pause on the Inhale - adding on to the 4 count breath above. When your lungs are full pause for a count of 3, then empty out your lungs for the usual 4 count. This makes it more challenging, especially if you practice this for the full 5 minutes or longer.
Optional Challenge 2) Pause on the Exhale - adding on to the 4 count breath again. Perform the 4 count breath as usual (inhale 4, exhale 4), but then at the very end when your lungs are empty pause for a count of 3. This makes it even more challenging.
Put it all together: The most advanced form of this exercise is:
Inhale 4 counts
Pause 3 counts
Exhale 4 counts
Pause 3 counts
Repeat...for 5 minutes if possible or just try a few at the end of your daily breathing practice.
Singers, swimmers and yogis have known about the importance of breath practice for thousands of years. Now it is time that we all take up the challenge to improve out lung capacity and work our diaphragms. Here's to your healthy lungs!