Facility in breathing is essential for anyone pursuing higher states of spiritual awareness. Fortunately, a great deal of research has been conducted on how to improve your lung capacity and your ability to effectively mobilize your breathing, which will assist you in attaining whatever spiritual end you desire. Below are a few tips on how to properly cultivate better breathing patterns.
Diet and exercise impact the entire body and the brain, and their impact on deep breathing is no exception. One study, published in the European Respiratory Journal found that consumption of antioxidant- and flavonoid-rich fruits, like bananas, apples, and tomatoes (ideally about 4 fruit servings per day) delayed decline in lung function, especially among ex-smokers. Although aerobic exercise does not does not enhance lung function, it may help improve lung capacity, which is a measure of the amount of oxygen you take in with each breath. Resistance workouts can assist in this, such as daily walks, especially while holding light hand weights. This increases heart rate and makes you breathe harder, which can improve lung capacity. Regular weight training such as chest and shoulder presses, and dead lifts, can also improve posture in such a way that helps you take fuller breaths.
Avoiding indoor pollutants is also important in protecting lung health. HEPA filters as well as natural air purifiers can be helpful, although simple maintenance of indoor hygiene by eliminating dust-collecting items is important as well. Be sure to wash sheets and bedding at high temperature and place mattresses and pillow cases in dust mite-proof zippered cases.
Simple breathing exercises can also assist in increasing lung capacity. “Pushing out” involves placing your feet flat on the ground with an upright posture, keeping your knees relaxed and bending over from the waist. During this exercise, you push the air out of your lungs and then slowly return to an upright position. Inhale slowly as much as you can and hold your breath for 20 seconds. While counting, lift your arms over your head and relax, before lowering your arms while slowly exhaling. While you are counting, place both hands on your hips with thumbs facing front and pinkies touching the small of your back. Repeat this three or more times.
Abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing entails laying on your back and resting one hand on the abdomen and the other on the chest. Breathe in deeply from your mid-section, which will cause your hand on your stomach to rise higher than the one on your chest. Next, exhale slowly from your mouth and inhale slowly from the nose. Hold your breath for around 7 seconds and then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Finally, squeeze your abdominal muscles near the end to ensure that you exhale all of the air. Repeat this for 5 cycles.
Pursed-lip breathing is simpler yet. Simple breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth, with pursed lips, at least twice as long as the inhale. For example, if you breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, breathe out through your mouth for 10 seconds. Make sure to drink plenty of water every day and to avoid smoking. Sit up straight to maintain good posture in order to enhance lung movement. When you purse your lips, you want to make a kissing face in which your lips are almost touching, but not quite.