Nothing is dearer to us than the air we breathe in. We have been breathing from the moment we came into this world. Though we have been breathing in and out all this time, the fact is that we do not know how to breathe properly. It has been found that nine out of every ten people follow an improper breath pattern. It is amazing that all animals and human babies breathe properly. This means that, at some stage of our growth, we drift apart from the right course of respiration.
Now, just try and take a deep breathe. Are you lifting up your shoulders and throwing out your upper chest in order to take that deep breath? If so, you have actually pulled in your diaphragm and that is never the proper way to breathe.
An experiment will make it clear how to breathe properly. Your hands should be placed just above the waistline. Then take a deep breath and feel the expansion. The expansion should at the maximum at the sixth and seventh ribs. As you inhale ensure that your chest is not lifted. If you are breathing centrally, the expansion will take place with the least effort. The shoulders should be kept relaxed and should not be moved. As you exhale, let the air go out in the way you blow off a candle. Start by pulling in those parts that you formerly expanded. It is advisable to keep the lips in the way it gets placed when you utter the ‘oo’ sound as in moon. In that way, you will be able to get a clear idea regarding the position of diaphragm and intercostal muscles during respiration. While doing this exercise, you should prevent your lower rib cage from collapsing. As you begin to exhale, the rib muscles will start to contract. As far as possible, keep the rib muscle extended so that the diaphragm can pull against it.