Put your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
Practice filling your lower lungs by breathing so that your "belly" (left) hand goes up when you inhale and your "chest" (right) hand remains still. Keep your shoulders relaxed and don't shrug. Always breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do this 8 to 10 times.
When you have filled and emptied your lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to your breathing: Inhale first into your lower lungs as before, and then continue inhaling into your upper chest. As you do so, your right hand will rise and your left hand will fall a little as your belly falls.
As you exhale slowly through your mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as first your left hand (belly) and then your right hand (chest) fall. As you exhale, feel the tension leaving your body as you become more and more relaxed.
Practice breathing in and out in this way for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the movement of your belly and chest rises and falls like the motion of rolling waves.
Current as of: December 15, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health