With one of the most stressful years of many of our lives coming to an end, a lot of us have found different ways to cope with the hardships we’ve been facing. If you haven’t found something that works for you or want to find more ways to deal with stress it’s time to learn about diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing). This is a term I hadn’t heard of until listening to Cornelius Jones’ latest audio-guided sessions on the Yoga Wake Up app and after hearing about all the benefits it could bring us, I was curious to know more. Here are just a few benefits of diaphragmatic breathing explained.
Strengthen your core
Practicing awareness of your breath goes hand in hand with almost any exercise or movement. When you take controlled breaths many different muscles in your body are activated. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing activates the muscles in your belly, the muscles between your ribs and muscles in your collarbone and neck. Using these muscles frequently along with controlled breathing will give those muscles an extra boost.
Diaphragmatic breathing can help strengthen your lungs and with the worry of catching COVID-19, I’m sure all of us wouldn’t mind giving our lungs a little boost and strengthen them for our own health. When your lungs are healthy they do less work and can rely more on the diaphragm to bring fresh oxygen to your body. When you breathe you are allowing fresh oxygen into your body and exhaling will release carbon dioxide.
Being stressed out impacts more than just your mental health, it can also hold your immune system back from working to the best of its ability and with the worry of getting sick, it’s important to keep your immune system working well. Focusing on your breath and slowing your rate of breathing helps to calm you down in times of stress.
Check out Cornelius Jones’ latest motivational audio-guided sessions in the Yoga Wake Up app to see how he uses diaphragmatic breathing in his practice and let him guide you through your own. You can find these sessions by clicking ‘Search All’ or find Cornelius in the teacher section.
(While diaphragmatic breathing can be a great practice to include throughout your day, it shouldn’t be used as a standalone treatment. If you experience anxiety, COPD, Asthma or any other health-related conditions make sure to talk to a doctor about the best treatment for you.)
Jules Rector is a student journalist who made the trek from South Florida to SoCal to attend Chapman University and is the Community Manager for Yoga Wake Up app.