In the following I want to give you a useful breathing lesson.
Breathing the right way is deep down in our abdomens. Watch a newborn's tummy and you'll see how it's done. The tummy rises and falls slowly with each inhalation and exhalation.
Unfortunately, most of us over time unwittingly switch from deep abdominal breathing to shallow "chest breathing". We hold our stomachs tight and start breathing shallowly.
Shallow breathing is bad because it supplies our lungs with less air per breath. Less air per breath means that we take breaths more often, but this only makes the situation worse.
Our blood vessel are triggered by a series of physiological changes.
This means in the end that less oxygen reaches the heart, the brain and the rest of the body.
This undersupply of oxygen can make us feeling "groggy". A chronic undersupply of oxygen can cause fatigue, anxiety, stress, depression and of course weight problems! For burning fat we need oxygen, if we don’t breath the right way our body burns carbohydrates instead of fat!
When you're stressed, the internal muscle between your chest and abdomen-contracts partway. This shrinks the space in your chest into which your lungs can expand. Your breathing becomes shallow and rapid, your blood vessels contract and you start selling yourself short on oxygen. Since rapid shallow breathing also contributes to stress, it creates a vicious cycle. Stress leads to shallow breathing, which leads to stress, and so on.
Throwing your shoulders back, sucking your stomach in and puffing your chest out - the way your mother told you to - can also keep your lungs from expanding fully and lead to shallow chest breathing.
An ideal start for starting with a breathing lesson - if necessary - would be the successful diet cabbage soup week.
To determine if you're a chest breather, try this simple self-test. Sit comfortably in a chair and put one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen. Inhale. If the hand on your chest rises more than the hand on your abdomen, you're chest breathing.
Follow the exercises in this chapter to correct your breathing. Your hand on your abdomen rises more than the hand on your chest? You're breathing the right way. Congratulations!
Fortunately, you can relearn deep abdominal breathing by practicing simple relaxation and breathing techniques.
The best way to learn how to breathe properly is to find a physical therapist or psychotherapist who does breath work or can teach you breathing exercises.
If you can't find one, qi gong or a teacher may be able to help you, since abdominal breathing is an important part of those disciplines. Failing that, look for a good video or book.
Or check this great Website that explains the Pranayama Yoga technique that can help double your metabolism.
Relax before practicing an abdominal breathing lesson and you'll find the job easier
With the help of Imagery you tend to breathe correctly, says Nancy Zi. Nancy is a voice teacher, classical opera singer, practitioner of qi gong and innovator of chi yi, a system of breathing exercises.
Zi explains, that chi yi is a cross between traditional Chinese qi gong breathing exercises and the breath training that professional singers get. She suggests to start with this simple exercise:
"Imagine that your body is a giant upside-down eyedropper. Your mouth and nose are the dropper's opening, and your stomach is its bulb. With your hands on your stomach, breathe in deeply, imagining the air filling the bulb. Your stomach should expand when you do this. Then exhale, tightening your abdominal muscles as if squeezing the eyedropper bulb."