Belly Breathing FAQs

Yesterday I posted a simple diaphragmatic/belly breathing technique. Hopefully some of you have tried it and those of you who already practice pranayama are sharing your discoveries. For beginners to pranayama (breath control) there can often be many questions. Here are the questions I get asked the most:

What if I get dizzy or feel panicky? If at any point during an exercise you feel dizzy or panicky, return to your accustomed breathing. It is not unusual to experience a mild sense of panic when first learning to manipulate the breath. This exercise is for you and it is important to listen to your body and it’s response to your breathing practice. After several seconds, try returning to your practice. If you continue to have this problem you may want to discuss it in more detail with your yoga teacher and doctor.

How often should I practice? At first, practice this exercise several minutes at least once per day. Many people find it comforting to start or end their day with breathing exercises. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend doing this exercise as your strength and comfort increases.

Why does this feel so awkward? Babies are born naturally breathing with full usage of their diaphragms. As we grow and develop many factors contribute to our breathing habits becoming shallower. Just as it feels awkward the first time you play a sport or return to the gym after a long absence, it will also take practice and time to rebuild strength in the diaphragm. At first, you’ll probably get tired while doing this exercise. But keep at it, because with continued practice, diaphragmatic breathing will become easy and automatic.

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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